By now we’ve learned that the national anthem protest movement inspired by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has found ways to spread beyond the NFL football fields, and now we’re seeing it cross over to the music industry.

Frank Ocean says he made the decision not to submit any of his music for consideration for a Grammy nomination, because he wants to make a statement about the industry as it stands today. He even went so far as to call his withholding songs for consideration a “Colin Kaepernick moment.”

“I think the infrastructure of the awarding system and the nomination system and screening system is dated,” Ocean said in a New York Times interview. “I’d rather this be my Colin Kaepernick moment for the Grammys than sit there in the audience.”

It is refreshing to see a star care more about social change than an award. Ocean does have two Grammy Awards already, which he can still look upon with pride, but there has been a heavy emphasis placed on social injustices in the world and in this country lately. And this is Ocean’s way of bringing that kind of awareness to his own industry. It may not be as serious of an issue as we see on the streets, but Ocean is hoping to shine a light on how the award institution is treating artists he says are like him. Ocean says he is frustrated that so few black artists get the recognition they deserve.

“That institution certainly has nostalgic importance,” Ocean said. “It just doesn’t seem to be representing very well for people who come from where I come from, and hold down what I hold down.”

We’ll see if this has any impact or others follow, but for now we’ll commend Ocean for taking a stand for what he believes in.

[New York Times]

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.