Longtime Jay-Z associate Irv Gotti told Page Six that the rapper looks as if he’s being “used like a pawn” by the NFL.
The “Empire State of Mind” rapper shocked fans last week by making a deal with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to join its “social justice campaign” — after backing Colin Kaepernick in his struggle with the league over his kneeling protests. And Gotti — who called Jay “my brother” and was reluctant to talk about the issue until we pushed him on it — said that it appears as if Goodell could be using Jay to rehabilitate the league’s image in wake of the Kaepernick debacle.
While he said that he hopes that the hip-hop idol is planning to improve the league from the inside, Gotti told Page Six, “To sit there and watch Jay talk [at their recent, widely publicized meeting] while Roger Goodell is sitting there quiet, it almost looks like the NFL manufactured and manipulated Jay to be the front and face of the bulls–t, knowing Jay is so powerful that he can make people forget about [Kaepernick and others] kneeling.”
Gotti called it “a brilliant move for the NFL” and added, “If it was a masterminded plan, then you just used Hov for a masterminded plan and made him look like a pawn in this whole f–king thing.” He added that he’s willing to see how it plays out before making a final judgment on it.