Jay-Z became certified this week by the NBPA to represent NBA players in contract negotiations with teams. (Ray Amati/Getty Images)
Jay-Z will now be negotiating player contracts with NBA teams.
The hip-hop star who launched Roc Nation Sports agency earlier this year received his certification this week from the National Basketball Players Association and is also seeking permission from the MLB players association, according to a report Thursday from Liz Mullen of Sports Business Daily. The decision on whether he will be granted the right to negotiate MLB player contracts is expected soon.
Jay-Z launched Roc Nation Sports as a full-service sports management company that handles both marketing and contract negotiations for athletes. While anyone can handle off-the-field marketing and PR for a player, only agents certified by the unions that represent the players in each of the four major leagues can actually participate in contract negotiations with a team.
Since its launch, the agency has signed many top-tier athletes including Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees, Skylar Diggins of the WNBA and Geno Smith of the New York Jets. Roc Nation is also rumored to be in negotiations to sign Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Victor Cruz of the New York Giants.
Smith's signing with Roc Nation came under fire by the NFLPA this spring because of speculation that Jay-Z had a part in the recruitment of Smith for representation; Smith had posted a photo to Instagram of him sitting next to Jay-Z. The NFLPA has a "runner rule" stating that only certified agents can recruit players for representation, and Jay-Z was not certified as an agent at the time of Smith's recruitment. The NFLPA and Roc Nation Sports met on Wednesday to discuss the matter, according to Mike Garafolo of USA Today Sports.
According to a report Thursday morning from Darren Rovell of ESPN, Jay-Z has not yet sold his less-than-one-percent shares of the Brooklyn Nets. As per NBA league rules, team owners cannot also represent players. NBA free agency begins July 1.