Jay-Z continues to make his presence felt in the sports world, but a recent move has some wondering whether Roc Nation Sports has been operating on the up-and-up.
SI.com is reporting that the NFL Players Association is investigating just how much the rapper was involved in recruiting Geno Smith to his new sports agency, after an Instagram picture showed the two together. An NFLPA rule states that only NFLPA-certified agents can be involved in the recruitment of clients, and while Smith's official Roc Nation agent, Kim Miale, is certified, Jay-Z is not.
Questions arose after a photo of the rookie New York Jets quarterback and the rapper was posted to Smith's Instagram account on Wednesday. "Two men who stand on their own two feet, we only share ideas and motivate each other," he wrote as a caption to the pic.
Things got more complicated when Smith's adviser John Thornton was quoted on CBSSports.com saying, "It really all came down to who he was most comfortable with. I was in those meetings and Jay-Z connected with him on many levels."
Thornton later tweeted that he was misquoted and that Jay-Z wasn't present when the meetings occurred.
It is unclear what the penalty from the NFLPA would be if Jay-Z and Roc Nation were found to be in violation of the recruitment rule.
Whatever the outcome, Jay has been rapidly building his sports firm. On April 2, news broke that Hov had linked his Roc Nation Sports with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and had signed New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Canó. A few weeks later, Roc Nation signed WNBA rookie Skylar Diggins and last week added Geno Smith to the roster. Jay even divested his minority ownership stake in the Brooklyn Nets so that he can be eligible to pursue NBA athletes as well.