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The NFL has announced it has partnered with rapper and actor Ice Cube’s Contract with Black America Institute to enhance the league’s efforts to increase economic equity and partnerships with Black-owned businesses.
In a news release on Thursday, the league said its collaboration with Cube, whose real name is O’Shea Jackson, will focus on ways to identify career opportunities in the financial, tech, and production sectors fields and to increase the direct and indirect spending on national Black businesses to help close the racial and economic wealth gap in the U.S.
Contract with Black America Institute, founded in 2020 amid the social justice and racial inequality protests in response to high-profile police killings of Black Americans, is an organization that focuses on economic inclusion within the Black community.
“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,” Jackson, a member of legendary hip-hop group NWA, said in a statement. “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. We believe this is a giant step in the right direction.”
Jackson, who also founded his own semi-professional basketball league “Big 3,” has been pushing for more economic equity in the black community.
Jackson shared in a February 2021 interview that the Biden administration reached out to him about a possible meeting on his Contract with Black America proposal, an initiative that focuses on issues within the Black community such as banking and finance, justice, policing, and reparations as well.
Jackson months earlier didn’t take part in a Zoom meeting with then-Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris and other prominent Black entertainers, saying the meeting wouldn’t “be productive.” The actor and rapper also received scrutiny for working with former President Trump’s administration on his “Platinum Plan” proposal.
“Our partnership with CWBA is another reminder that partnering with intentional organizations is critical to everything we do at the League,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “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.”
The NFL has spent and allocated $125 Million to Black-owned and operated businesses within the past years, the statement noted.