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Jay-Z partnership with NFL accused of racism over support of org that helps Chicago youth quit gangs


"I love these kids like my own..."

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

An online campaign targeted rapper Jay-Z and his partnership with the NFL over their support of a program with the mission to help youth in Chicago quit gangs, because of their tweets.

One prolific tweeter against the partnership is talk radio host and pastor Bishop Talbert Swan. He has focused the ire against a tweet from the organization showing a woman cutting off the dreadlocks of a young black man.

"A white lady who loves police, loves Trump, thinks 'ALL LIVES MATTER' and that cutting off dreadlocks to assimilate to white culture will help Black boys attain a better life is who the @NFL and JayZ's @RocNation thinks they should give $400K to #InspireChange & social justice," tweeted Swan.

Many are accusing the "Crushers Club" of racism because of a tweet that innocuously showed support for the Chicago police, another that called for President Donald Trump to help Chicago, and another that proclaimed that "all lives matter."

The organization runs a boxing gym dedicated to helping kids escape gangs and crime, and has been praised for their efforts.

The Crushers Club released a statement denying the allegations.

"The Crusher's Club does not have any policies prohibiting dreadlocks," read the statement, "we welcome all hairstyles from our youth. On two occasions, our kids looked to change their hairstyles and asked us to assist. I understand how my social media posts could be interpreted as insensitive, but that was never my intention."

"I love these kids like my own and I've spent nearly two decades of my life working to help them build a future without putting their lives or freedom at risk," the statement continued. "My goal is — and will always be — to equip our youth with the resources to improve their neighborhoods, maximize their potential and develop into the leaders of tomorrow."

In response to the furor, the Crushers Club tweeted a video of Kobe, the young black man who asked for his dreadlocks to be cut.

Kobe says that he did it to help him quit gangs and seek a better life.

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