(AllHipHop News) Alicia Keys performed “Love Looks Better” at the National Football League’s 2020 season Kickoff event last night. The R&B vocalist also announced she is teaming with the NFL for a $1 billion fund.
The fund will financially support Black businesses and communities. This new endowment comes after the NFL faced years of backlash for allegedly blackballing former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick for his peaceful protests during the playing of the national anthem.
“I’m performing for the NFL Kickoff event. My initial reaction was to decline because of some of the NFL’s past decisions. Yet I realized I HAVE to use my platform, we all need to use our platforms, every chance we get to press for racial equity,” wrote Keys in an open letter.
She added, “The fund will create long term solutions with a focus on Black entrepreneurs, businesses, communities, Black schools, banks, and other Black institutions, while addressing persistent social, economic and environmental disparities. It’s starting here, but the intention is to build a multi-billion-dollar endowment across multiple industries. Through our collective action, we can end the needless and preventable agony created by systemic racism.”
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Alicia Keys is represented by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation management agency. Last year, Jay-Z was criticized for having Roc Nation enter into a partnership with the NFL while Kaepernick was still unsigned to a franchise. The NFL/RN deal included support for the Inspire Change initiative which focuses on education and economic advancement, police and community relations, and criminal justice reform.
“Four years ago, Colin Kaepernick’s resistance by taking a knee in silent protest was a brave and necessary stand to increase our awareness of the acts and consequences of police brutality. He is still way ahead of his time. What is being accomplished by this performance and these new commitments are meant to deeply honor that this moment is a direct result of his courage and prophecy,” wrote Keys in her letter.
She concluded the letter by stating, “Moving forward we must act together with love over hate, hope over fear and action over complacency to build the America we all know is possible. We invite all corporations, NFL clubs, and organizations to join this mission to invest in racial justice.”