Jay Z: MLB Investigating Him For Illegal Gift Giving To Yankee Cano
Published By: Tara ClemNovember 7, 2013
Jay Z has possibly landed himself in trouble with the Major League Baseball Players Association. The music mogul owns a sports agency, Roc Nation Sports, founded in 2013, and represents several athletes from the NBA, NFL and Robinson Cano, New York Yankee’s second baseman.
The alleged investigation is about a watch worth nearly $34,000 that Jay Z gave to Robinson Cano on October 22, 2013 and whether it violates Major League Baseball rules. Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, gave the watch to Robinson to celebrate his 31st birthday at a bash in Belgium in October, and the watch happens to be part of a collection designed by Jay Z himself, called The Shawn Carter Classic Fusion watch by Hublot. Robinson Cano later posted pictures of the watch on his Instagram account, which led to the investigation.
Agents are not supposed to give clients gifts worth more than $500 without clearing them with the MLBPA (Major League Baseball Player’s Association) first, and furthermore, the regulations do not allow agents to offer “any money, or any other thing of value” to players in order to influence them or persuade them to continue using their services.
Cano left agent Scott Boras in April to join Jay Z’s sports agency, Roc Nation Sports. The National Basketball Players Association and the MLBPA certified Jay Z as an agent in June. Several sports stars, including Kevin Durant of the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder and Jets quarterback Geno Smith, have signed on with his agency since then. Ron Berkowitz, a spokesman for Jay Z’s Roc Nation sports agency, declined comment on the MLBPA investigation, which was first reported by ESPN.
A spokesman for the Players Association, Greg Bouris, said he could not confirm or deny that the union had launched an investigation into the gift because the MLBPA does not comment on internal investigations or agent affairs.
This isn’t the first time Jay Z has showered a client with a lavish gift. The music mogul surprised the WNBA’s No. 3 pick, Skylar Diggins, with a $100,000 Mercedes Benz when she graduated from Notre Dame in May.
Cano is reportedly seeking a 10-year, $310 million contract from the Yankees. The club presented Cano, now one of the team’s biggest stars, a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying contract on Monday.