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Volume 26 No. 109
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Sources: Report Of Jay-Z Becoming NFL Owner "Simply False"

To become an owner, Jay-Z would first have to be vetted and divest from his Roc Nation agency
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
To become an owner, Jay-Z would first have to be vetted and divest from his Roc Nation agency
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
To become an owner, Jay-Z would first have to be vetted and divest from his Roc Nation agency
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Reports that Jay-Z has a "handshake deal for partial ownership of an NFL team" under his new deal with the league are "simply false," according to sources cited by Jason La Canfora of CBSSPORTS.com. A TMZ report speculating possible ownership was connected to the deal Jay-Z's Roc Nation has to "become the 'live music entertainment strategist' for the NFL's major events." However, the "timing of the report, amid an already-charged atmosphere, has further complicated a murky situation which will take time to play out." That is "not to say that Jay-Z will not at some point get a piece of a team through his work with the league and its owners." However, he would have to be "fully vetted and approved by membership, and he would have to divest himself of his growing athlete representation empire as well" (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/21). Broncos President of Football Operations & GM John Elway said it "would be great" to have Jay-Z among the league's ownership ranks based on the "success he's had in his business career." Elway: "I’m sure there are a lot of ownership groups that’d like to have him a part of it” (“Today,” NBC, 8/22).

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: In Pennsylvania, John Luciew notes some reports linked Jay-Z to the Steelers, as the team is "already looking for a new part-owner" to buy the 5% stake David Tepper had to relinquish when he bought the Panthers last May. Luciew speculates that Jay-Z joining the team's ownership "could stir a backlash from some of the black and gold fan base," though it also could "prove a breath of fresh air that would modernize the game-going experience" for the '20s. Should Jay-Z at some point end up acquiring Tepper's stake, he would become the "largest-percentage African-American owner of an NFL franchise," which would represent a "major milestone in many ways" (PENNLIVE.com, 8/22).