First, it was Jay-Z and Roc Nation, now the National Football League (NFL) is partnering with another hip-hop icon to push its social justice agenda. On Thursday, June 30, the league announced its deal with Ice Cube’s Contract With Black America (CWBA) Institute.
According to the release, “The collaboration focuses on identifying League-wide opportunities in the financial, tech, and production sectors, with a concentration on increasing direct and indirect spend to national Black businesses to help close America’s racial and economic wealth gap.”
Ice Cube lauded the relationship, noting he pursued it because the NFL is one of the largest companies in the country that has a bulk of Black customers and employees.
“We feel like if you tackle the huge wealth gap between Black people and white people in this country, that should solve a lot of problems that’s there,” Ice Cube said during an appearance on AP Pro Football Podcast. “Our thing was to go after some of the biggest companies in the country that rely on Black consumers or Black workers, and the biggest one that we focused in on was the NFL.”
Ice Cube first introduced his Contract with Black America in June 2020 as a means of addressing the racial wealth gap and getting tangible resources and policy passed in return for Black support of politicians, businesses and other sectors.
The CWBA Institute has been working closely with the league for quite some time on the initiative, according to Ice Cube. “For more than a year, the CWBA Institute has been working closely with the NFL on identifying resources to build stronger, more substantive economic partnerships with the Black community,” Cube said.
“Our team at CWBA, including my longtime business partner and entertainment lawyer Jeff Kwatinetz, and advisors Ja’Ron Smith and Chris Pilkerton, are focused on building corporate partnerships with measurable economic growth outcomes for Black communities across the country,” Ice Cube added. “We believe this is a giant step in the right direction.”
The NFL said it was “pleased” to partner with Ice Cube and his team.
“Our partnership with CWBA is another reminder that partnering with intentional organizations is critical to everything we do at the League,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “Black businesses play a major role in our country’s economic prosperity. We understand these businesses have not always had the opportunity for exponential growth, so we are pleased to have partners like Ice Cube and his organization, CWBA, in a continued, collective push toward greater economic inclusion.”
People on Twitter voiced their thoughts on the partnership between the NFL and CWBA. Some celebrated it while others were skeptical.
“This is great work! Yes! This is the changes I would like to see more of … Keep doing big things boss man! Thank you to your partners for joining the good fight!” @RawFootageDiva tweeted.
“That’s good news. I’d also like the @Raiders to sign @Kaepernick7,” user @Jbroy007 chimed in.
“A capitalist plan with markets to solve inequity. I dunno. This seems like more capitalism,” @sdgrumbine tweeted in response to the news.
“But where is he on Roe & other issues effecting the black community?” Texas judicial candidate Lesa Pamplin asked in a tweet.
“San Diego and Oakland both need NFL teams. If NFL serious about economic equality then BOTH should have Black Ownership not P.O.C ownership….BLACK OWNERSHIP!!” @UpwardMike responded.
PHOTO: Rapper Ice Cube, right, poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the first round of the NFL football draft Thursday, April 28, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)