As I sorted through hundreds of emails (including electronic NYFW invites…woohoo!), I stumbled across a press release for yet another Jay-Z venture. While preparing for the release of the most-anticipated album of the Fall, the rap star found time to design a Rocawear t-shirt featuring legendary tennis great, Arthur Ashe, for the 2009 U.S. Open. Proceeds from the simple black tee sporting Ashe’s iconic image will go to the National Junior Tennis and Learning Network (NJTL) and the Arthur Ashe Endowment for the Defeat of Aids, both organizations Ashe founded. The Glamazons commend Jay-Z for giving back and acknowledging significant African-American contribution to a sport other than basketball (his actions completely redeem the rest of you design-stars (see last post)!). The limited-edition shirt will be released on the 40th anniversary of the NJTL in Ashe’s honor.
Arthur Ashe’s widow, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, told the press she was “thrilled that someone of Jay-Z’s stature would take part in this project. This shirt will honor the legacy of my husband and remind people of his contributions to both the sport of tennis and this country’s underprivileged youth.” Agreed. It’s wonderful that Jay-Z is lending his celebrity for a significant and worthy cause.
While Arthur Ashe gets inducted into the U.S. Court of Champions on September 10th, Jay-Z will be preparing for his Blueprint III album release and benefit concert on September 11th. Go out and support our favorite rapper with a heart of gold, and be sure to get the t-shirt for $36 at usopen.org, arthurashe.com or, if you’re lucky enough to be attending, the US Open in Queens.