On Monday night, Jay-Z celebrated the 10th anniversary of his 40/40 Club in Manhattan. On Wednesday, the NFLPA will continue to explore whether Jay-Z’s effort to run an NFL agency will make it to a first anniversary.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, NFLPA officials will meet on Wednesday with Kim Miale, the NFLPA-certified agent hired by Roc Nation Sports to serve as the in-house football agent. The union, which previously has met with other Roc Nation representatives, is investigating the question of whether and to what extent Jay-Z was involved in recruiting Jets quarterback Geno Smith to hire Miale.
The NFLPA, which regulates contract agents, permits only NFLPA-certified agents to be involved in the recruitment of clients. Technically, then, any involvement from Jay-Z would run afoul of the rules.
As we’ve previously pointed out, Jay-Z’s situation doesn’t fit within the spirit of the rule against so-called runners. The NFLPA, frustrated by the inability to effectively police those who, at the behest of NFLPA-certified agents, were recruiting college players with cash or other things of value, opted in 2012 to remove runners from the process completely.
But Jay-Z isn’t a runner, in the classic sense of the term. Runners work for agents. In this case, the agent (Miale) works for the would-be runner.
That’s why the NFLPA should use this situation as an occasion to consider adjusting the rules that apply to those who own agencies. The problem is that, if the Roc Nation folks and/or Miale opt for the tangled-web approach, insisting Jay-Z wasn’t involved in recruiting Smith with anyone with common sense and/or access to an Instagram account knows he was, the philosophical points will be lost in the more practical question of whether folks are lying to the union.
None of that seems to matter to Jay-Z, whose overall business plan apparently consists of doing what he wants and seeing if anyone has the ability or the will to stop him. And that has made many wonder where this all will end.
Given the presence of Robert Kraft at last night’s part, it’s hard not to wonder whether Jay-Z ultimately aspires to own a sports-related business slightly larger and more significant than a player agency.
If, after all, Jay-Z’s business plan truly consists of doing what he wants and seeing if anyone has the ability or the will to stop him, he’ll fit in quite nicely with the NFL.