Jay-Z dedicated part of his performance Friday night to football player Colin Kaepernick.
As part of Jay's headlining set at the Meadows Music and Arts Festival in New York, the rapper performed "The Story of O.J." from his recent album 4:44. Before playing the track, he said, “I want to dedicate this song to Colin Kaepernick tonight. I want to dedicate this song to Dick Gregory. I want to dedicate this song to anybody that was held back and you overcame whatever it was."
Kaepernick has drawn both criticism and praise for his decision not to stand for the national anthem during some NFL games last year.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick said at the time. "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."
Gregory, a comedy and civil rights icon, died last month at 84. The St. Louis native was largely regarded as the first African-American comic to perform regularly in front of white audiences.
"He was one of the sweetest, smartest, most loving people one could ever know," his publicist said following his death. "I just hope that God is ready for some outrageously funny times."