Over the weekend, Saturday Night Live premiered the show's 43rd season, featuring a live performance of Jay Z's Bam alongside Damian Marley, who is also featured on the track in Jay Z's album 4:44. While the incredible performance on its own was enough to get people talking, Jay Z's decision to wear a custom Colin Kaepernick jersey led to the performance trending on social media.
Colin Kaepernick, then a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, divided the nation in 2016 when he began protesting by initially sitting and then kneeling during the national anthem. Kaepernick explained at the time...
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder"
Fast forward a year and NFL players all across the country are now taking part in the 'Take a Knee' protest. President Donald Trump has condoned the protest, calling it disrespectful and for any players who take part to be fired.
Jay Z's attire made his opinion on the matter pretty clear. Though the star had already turned down a request to perform at the Super Bowl LI halftime show, and at a recent concert in New York City, dedicated his song, The Story of O.J., to Kaepenick.
Damian Marley has also spoken out against social injustice in the past. In the music video for his song Nail Pon Cross, part of his latest album Stony Hill, Marley, a young black man, a Muslim man, a Latino man and a police officer are crucified to a telephone pole.
Marley told Huffington Post he hopes the song and video will encourage viewers to have “more tolerance and patience.”
“If you look at the news and check out popular media, you can see people are being crucified one way or the other,” Marley said. “Whether it’s with police using excessive force on young African-Americans, or whether it’s people judging our police because of those news topics. Likewise, with people who are of Middle Eastern descent, and likewise of people who are of Mexican descent. It’s looking at the stereotypes and the ways we judge each other.”
Here's how social media reacted to Jay Z's jersey...
What do you think of this protest?