Bad Bunny’s agency claims the MLBPA issued a “death penalty” for the penalties

Remas Sports, the agency founded by artist Bad Bunny, has accused the Major League Baseball Players Association of “imposing a death penalty” on the agency through a “discriminatory, biased and pre-determined investigation” into Remas’ business practices, according to the British Daily Mail. A federal lawsuit was filed by the company on Thursday.

On April 10, the MLBPA revoked the certification of Remas agent William Arroyo and barred Remas executives Noah Assad and Jonathan Miranda from seeking certification after accusing the agency of providing improper benefits to players. Additionally, Rimas’ other MLBPA-certified agent, Michael Velasquez, was threatened with withdrawing his certification and leaving the company, according to the lawsuit.

In a 27-page complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico, Rimas sought a temporary restraining order and an injunction against the sanctions imposed by the union, which the company argued were “designed to permanently put Rimas Sports out of business.” The lawsuit alleged that the MLBPA “exceeded the scope of its statutory authority under the National Labor Relations Act” by expanding penalties on individuals to as high as an entire company. Remas employees had previously been denied a temporary restraining order to continue doing business, and the complaint said relief was warranted as an MLBPA overreach that extended to the entire company.

“By blanketly prohibiting any MLBPA-certified agents from joining Rimas Sports and Rimas Entertainment in any capacity, the MLBPA has effectively imposed a death penalty on Rimas Sports as an agency and banned Rimas Entertainment, which is a no-no in the sports agency business and has never had,” the complaint reads. Never an MLBPA-authorized agent, from contracting with clients who may want to secure branding, sponsorship or endorsement deals, these restrictions extend well beyond the scope of the MLBPA’s authority to regulate its agents.”

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The MLBPA declined to comment through a spokesperson.

Remas previously sought relief from sanctions against Arroyo, Assad and Miranda through an arbitrator, who denied the efforts. The American Arbitration Association will determine whether to appeal individual sanctions filed before the May 10 deadline.

The impact on Remas as a whole is much deeper, the complaint says. Remas said the sanctions caused “irreparable damage” to the company, noting that the union banned authorized agents from working with Remas. Memo sent by MLB to teams warning them not to do business with Rimas employees; The unwillingness of third parties to deal with the company.

As examples, Rimas pointed to the inability to further negotiate a contract extension for New York Mets outfielder Francisco Alvarez as well as losing the opportunity to sign National League MVP Ronald Acuna Jr. as an agent due to sanctions. Topps, the baseball card brand owned by Fanatics — and in which the MLBPA has invested — “notified Rimas Sports that due to the MLBPA’s ban, they could not speak to Rimas Sports’ marketing, endorsement and sponsorship deals, such as those of Ronald Acuña,” according to the complaint.

Rimas Sports, started in 2021 by Asad, Miranda and Benito Martinez Ocasio – the international recording star known as Bad Bunny – aims to cater to players from Latin America and has quickly built a list of clients including Alvarez, Mets prospect Ronnie Mauricio and Colorado. Shortstop Ezequiel Tovar, with whom the agency negotiated a seven-year, $63.5 million contract extension. Other agents accused Rimas of paying players to join the agency, which may conflict with MLBPA regulations. While Assad and Miranda pursued MLBPA certification, Martinez remained, according to the complaint, a “near-passive investor.”

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Although the lawsuit does not address the substance of the MLBPA’s disciplinary action against Rimas’ employees, it notes that the union and others believe “these Puerto Rican outsiders were disrupting the baseball sports agency system too much, too quickly. This was something the MLBPA and Rimas Sports’ competitors did not mention.” They will not allow it.”

About a year before the MLBPA’s investigation and decision were completed, entertainment attorneys Oswaldo Rossi, John Baldivia and Jimmy Barnes sought certification of the union, according to the complaint. In a letter from MLBPA attorneys, they were told their “certifications will be conditional on your agreement not to work for or with Rimas Sports, and to represent clients of Rimas Sports,” the complaint said in a letter from MLBPA attorneys. – “An unprecedented condition imposed on them (that) it is not part of the MLBPA regulations.”

“The MLBPA knew, or should have known, that such actions have caused and will continue to cause the agency serious and damaging harm to the Remas Companies,” the complaint continued. “Indeed, the intended effect of the MLBPA’s actions was specifically to exclude the Rimas Companies from participating entirely in the sports agency market for MLB and MiLB players.”

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