People were shocked to hear Jay-Z was selling his stake in the Brooklyn Nets this past April. The “Brooklyn Go Hard” rapper had been a fixture in relocating the sports team to his native burrough, but Jay-“I’m a business, man”-Z had his reasons.
Hov had set his sights on sports management, adding the Roc Nation Sports division to his Roc Nation entertainment umbrella. “Our newest endeavor is committed to building the brands of professional athletes as we have done for some of today’s top music artists,” Jay-Z wrote on his website. “For Roc Nation Sports to function at its full potential, NBA rules stipulate that I relinquish my ownership in the Brooklyn Nets.” He couldn’t be an owner of an NBA team and rep NBA players.
Roc Nation’s first signee was New York Yankees all-star Robinson Cano. Along the way they also picked up Skylar Diggins, and gifted her with a Mercedes Benz for her graduation. The latest recruit was New York Jets draft pick Geno Smith. Smith announced the news via a photo with Jay-Z on Instagram with the caption: “Two men who stand on their own two feet, we only share ideas and motivate each other! It’s easy to think you made it but I’m only 22, it’s just the beginning. I was never motivated by fame or wealth, my LEGACY has a greater purpose. #knowledgeispower #mybigbrotherwasBIGbrother #imnotfamous #sameoldg.”
Seems the NFL Players Association was not too happy about this. They want to know more about Jay-Z’s involvement in signing Smith. He is not a NFLPA certified agent and the new “runner rule” prohibits agents from having colleagues or friends who aren’t NFLPA certified agents present at recruitment meetings. Smith Instagram photo has since been taken down.
The NFL Players Association intends to send a letter of inquiry to Roc Nation Sports agent Kim Miale. They want to know what exactly Jay-Z’s role was in the Smith deal. It didn’t help that Smith’s associate and former NFL defensive tackle John Thornton was quoted in a CBS story saying, “I was in those meetings, and Jay-Z connected with him on many levels.” Thornton later said he never said those things.
Regardless, it seems that while Jigga is jumping full throttle into building Roc Nation Sports into one of his trademark empires, he still has a bunch of reading to catch up on.