Jay-Z requested a halt on a trademark lawsuit against him until some Black arbitrators are included in the mix.
The “On to the Next One” rapper is currently in a legal battle with Iconix, the company who bought his clothing line Rocawear in 2007, according to Page Six. Iconix sued Jay-Z last year when they discovered the Roc logo on a line of baseball caps. They argue the deal Hov signed with Major League Baseball is a breach of their licensing agreement.
The case is pending, and both parties agreed to settle in arbitration to avoid going to court, according to TMZ. When Jay-Z saw the list of arbitrators from the American Arbitration Association (AAA), he was bothered by a lack of diversity.
“The AAA’s lack of African-American arbitrators came as a surprise to [Carter], in part because of AAA’s advertising touting its diversity,” legal documents read.
“He was confronted with a stark reality: he could not identify a single African-American arbitrator on the ‘Large and Complex Cases’ roster, composed of hundreds of arbitrators, that had the background and experience to preside over the arbitration,” the suit continued.
The AAA eventually tracked down six people of color including three Black arbitrators, but one could not participate because he is a partner at a law firm representing Iconix.
Neither party commented on the lawsuit.
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