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Volume 24 No. 114

Labor and Agents

MLBPA Exec Dir Michael Weiner, in his first public comments on the matter, said the union would consider Jay-Z' decision to sell his interest in the Nets, among other things, in deciding whether to grant him permanent certification to represent MLB players in contract talks with clubs. Jay-Z and two other Roc Nation Sports employees have applied to become MLBPA-certified agents. Weiner said, “We look forward to getting the application from all the Roc Nation individuals. We will examine if there are conflict or ownership issues that need to be addressed, including whether [Jay-Z] is going to divest an interest in the Nets.” Weiner declined further comment. The MLBPA granted Jay-Z and two other individuals temporary certification to represent Yankees 2B Robinson Cano (Liz Mullen, Staff Writer). In N.Y., Michael O’Keeffe notes MLBPA rules “bar anyone with a conflict of interest, such as an ownership stake in a major league team, from representing players.” But an ownership stake in an NBA team “isn’t specifically prohibited” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/11).

BIG LOSS FOR THE NETS? CBS Sports Network’s Allie LaForce said the move by Jay-Z is a "huge blow for the Nets in terms of getting free agents and having just his appearance at the games and bringing attention to the franchise in a positive way.”'s Gary Parrish noted the relationship between the Nets and Jay-Z was more “perception than in actuality." Parrish: "He didn’t really have a role with that franchise, but he made that franchise cool” ("Lead Off,” CBS Sports Network, 4/10). The N.Y. Daily News' Bob Raissman said Jay-Z has “become a great faceman” for an organization, which is what “he’s going to be for this agency." Raissman: "He’s the frontman. He’ll bring in the clients and the rest of the guys will do the work. Now, I give him a lot of credit … because there’s a lot of guys running around that would like to do that" (“Daily News Live,” SNY, 4/10). ESPN's Jalen Rose said, "He has relationships with current athletes … and he’s going to take that relationship and now profit off of it with Robinson Cano, Victor Cruz and others” (“Numbers Never Lie,” ESPN2, 4/10).