SBD/June 5, 2013/Labor and Agents

Jay-Z, Roc Nation Sports Execs Met With MLBPA In April, Applied For Certification

As of last week, Jay-Z hadn't applied for certification with any other unions
Jay-Z and two other Roc Nation Sports execs in April met "in person with MLB Players Association officials at the union’s headquarters in midtown Manhattan regarding their applications to become certified to represent baseball players in talks with MLB clubs," according to Liz Mullen of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Jay-Z, Roc Nation President Juan Perez and Roc Nation VP Rich Kleiman "applied for MLBPA certification in April." MLBPA Exec Dir Michael Weiner will make the "final decision on whether to grant Jay-Z, Perez and Kleiman certification to represent MLB players." Roc Nation Sports launched April 1 and "announced that it had signed" Yankees 2B Robinson Cano in partnership with CAA Sports as its first client. CAA Baseball co-head Brodie Van Wagenen is "co-representing Cano and is certified by the MLBPA to represent him for on-field work." But Jay-Z, Perez and Kleiman have "sought certification from the MLBPA -- which, if granted, would allow them to represent Cano and other MLB players in playing-contract work." The MLBPA as of last week was the "only one of the four major sports unions where Jay-Z and other Roc Nation executives had applied for certification" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/3 issue).

JACKSON UNSURE ABOUT FUTURE: Eagles WR DeSean Jackson yesterday confirmed that Drew Rosenhaus “is no longer his agent.” Jackson said that he “hasn’t decided on new representation, despite reports he’s leaning toward” Roc Nation Sports. Jackson cited “personal issues” for the move. Meanwhile, Yahoo Sports is reporting Rosenhaus has “filed a grievance with the NFLPA, alleging that Jackson owes him $400,000 in unpaid loans” (USATODAY.com, 6/5). The Tribune Co. conducted a panel and asked writers if they would "rather be represented by Jay-Z or a more established sports agent." The L.A. Times' Sam Farmer: "I want an established football agent representing me, not an entertainment icon. If I hire Jay-Z, I’m sending the message that I’m not fully committed to football and plan to have one foot in the world of entertainment." The Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson: "For my money, give me a veteran of the boardrooms every day of the week. Owners live for the art of negotiation. Why not hire somebody who does the same? ... Jay-Z may eventually be successful. But when it comes to getting guaranteed money, athletes need to go with a guarantee" (LATIMES.com, 6/4).
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