The BIG3 (@thebig3) gets an ad in the @nytimes saying “Hey President Trump, when you meet with Putin’s new friend, the Emir of Qatar, please tell him not to threaten the BIG3 and American athletes.” pic.twitter.com/TYEuFejSZ0
— Oliver Maroney (@OMaroneyNBA) April 10, 2018
In what appears to be a move to get the attention of the Qatari investors he’s suing, rapper Ice Cube took out a full-page ad in The New York Times that zeros in on his defendants.
“Hey President Trump, when you meet today with Putin’s new friend, the Emir of Qatar (Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani), please tell him not to threaten the BIG3 and American athletes!” read the April 10 ad signed by the plaintiffs along with league coaches and players including Dr. J, Chauncey Billups and Jermaine O’Neal.
The ad also lists dates that the BIG3 games will air and reveals tickets go on sale April 20.
Cube and his BIG3 partner Jeff Kwatinetz filed a lawsuit against four men including Al Thani, who was named in the $1.2B lawsuit and accused of boasting of his wealth with the other defendants. He just wrapped a meeting with President Donald Trump.
The New York Post reported Friday, April 6 that investors have only paid a third of the expected $20.5 million commitment to BIG3.
Al Thani along with members and associates of the royal family were accused of giving excuses as to why they couldn’t fund the millions they owed to BIG3, including blaming it on “sinuses” and it being a “long day bro.
One of the defendants, Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, allegedly issued a threat upon being asked about expected payment. After Kwatinetz demanded the money he was owed, Al-Rumaihi allegedly shouted, “You don’t know who I know in L.A. and what they’re capable of! You should think of your safety and the safety of you and your family.”
A-Rumaihi had once served as a Qatari diplomat to the U.S., and the suit alleges, had commanded respect be shown his investor’s status as “a royal family member.” He also called for a 25 percent stake in ownership.
The plaintiffs hope to be awarded enough in damages to pay each athlete in the league $20 million.
However, the Qatari government has denied any wrongdoing, with a spokesperson telling Deadline Saturday, that Al Thani is not an investor in BIG3 and has no involvement with the company targeted in the suit. The rep added Qatar Investment Authority is not involved in the investments and emphasized the suit includes just individuals and private companies.
While it remains to be seen what effect the ad will have on the case, Twitter users have been sounding off.
“Trump dgaf about Professional Athletes of color,” someone tweeted. “Why ask him for anything?”
“Ice cube should drop a diss track on Trump,” another said.
“Man what? They probably are counting their losses and not dumping more money into this crazy ass idea of a league,” someone commented. “Trump is an investor, I’m sure he’s gonna laugh at this.”