Alicia Keys Explains Why She’s Performing for NFL Kickoff, Announces $1B Fund for Black-Owned Businesses

Alicia Keys is set to perform at the NFL’s Kickoff event for its 2020 season Thursday and announced that she’s launching a $1 billion fund for Black-owned businesses.

The fund was set up to provide coronavirus relief and help combat systematic racial injustices.

Many people fans were wondering why the singer is working with the NFL meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick is still out of a job. But she penned a letter explaining her decisions.

“We are already seeing the blatant injustices that are going on around us,” Keys says. “As an artist, I’m always thinking about how can I use my platform to further racial equity. This fund is one of the answers and our goal is to empower Black America through investing in Black businesses, Black investors, institutions, entrepreneurs, schools and banks in a way to create sustainable solutions.”

Alicia Keys told Billboard in an exclusive interview that the purpose of the relief fund is to turn protests and signs of solidarity to real action that will benefit the Black community. Other sponsors or investors besides the NFL haven’t been announced.

“The initial goal of $1 billion is to ensure a substantial commitment,” Keys says. “Even with that it does not come close to closing the economic gap. The next steps are to reach out to different industries to invite them to invest in racial justice and create a multi-billion dollar endowment across business sectors.”

Participating in this fund is the latest step the NFL has taken to support racial and social justice initiatives. However, there still aren’t any Black team owners and Colin hasn’t been welcomed back to the league. So it’s looking real performative!