CNN host Van Jones interviews Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter on the first episode of "The Van Jones Show" on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 in New York, NY.

Photo by John Nowak/CNN
John Nowak/CNN
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(CNN) —  

Hip-hop star Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter says he doesn’t think Colin Kaepernick needs to worry about his next NFL role.

“Would you rather be playing football, getting your head dinged in, or would you rather be an iconic figure for the rest of your life?” he told CNN’s Van Jones on the premiere of his program, “The Van Jones Show,” airing Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on CNN.

“We confuse the idea of having a job with fulfilling your purpose,” he added.

In August 2016, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat in protest during the national anthem for a pre-season game, saying he would not honor a song nor “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” He was referencing recent shooting deaths of African-Americans by police.

Some teammates followed and in November, they, too, began to kneel during the anthem. The protest then spread to other teams, with both black and white players taking a knee.

The protests became a political hot potato with President Trump even getting involved, and Kaepernick was not signed by another team for the 2016-2017 season.

Jay-Z, whose company, Roc Nation Sports, represents athletes, said he would “100%” advise Kaepernick to do the same thing and stand against racism in this country, despite losing his job for it.

The unexpected connection between slavery, NFL protests and the national anthem

Jones added that Kaepernick’s actions – sticking up for civil rights and the First Amendment – make him a legend comparable to Muhammad Ali.