Rimas Sports, an agency founded by recording artist Bad Bunny, faces what it describes as a “death penalty” from the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA). The agency’s lawsuit, filed Thursday, alleges a discriminatory and biased investigation by the MLBPA, leading to sanctions threatening its existence.

On April 10, the MLBPA decertified Rimas agent William Arroyo and barred executives Noah Assad and Jonathan Miranda from seeking certification, accusing the agency of providing improper player benefits. Rimas’ other certified agent, Michael Velasquez, resigned under threat of decertification.

In a detailed 27-page complaint, Rimas sought a temporary restraining order and injunction against these penalties, arguing the MLBPA’s actions were designed to “put Rimas Sports permanently out of business.” The lawsuit contends that the MLBPA exceeded its statutory authority under the National Labor Relations Act by extending sanctions to the entire company, not just individual agents.

Rimas argues that the sanctions have caused “irreparable harm” to the company, citing examples such as losing the opportunity to sign top players and negotiate major contracts. The company mentioned its inability to continue negotiations for a contract extension for New York Mets catcher Francisco Álvarez and the loss of potential client National League MVP Ronald Acuña Jr.

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The MLBPA has declined to comment on the lawsuit. However, Rimas’ complaint suggests a deeper issue: the rapid success of the Puerto Rican-founded agency threatened the union and other industry players. The complaint describes the MLBPA’s actions as targeting Rimas Sports to maintain the status quo in the baseball sports agency market.

Rimas Sports, established in 2021 by Assad, Miranda and Benito Martínez Ocasio (Bad Bunny), quickly attracted a roster of high-profile clients, including Álvarez, Mets prospect Ronny Mauricio, and Colorado Rockies shortstop Ezequiel Tovar. The agency’s rapid ascent allegedly upset the established order, leading to accusations from rival agents of unethical behavior.

The lawsuit displays the severity of the MLBPA’s actions by highlighting the conditions imposed on other agents seeking certification. Entertainment attorneys linked to Rimas were reportedly told their certification depended on severing all ties with Rimas Sports, a condition not previously part of MLBPA regulations.

This dispute shows the power dynamics within the world of sports representation, where new companies like Rimas Sports challenge the norms. The outcome of this legal battle could significantly impact the future of sports agencies, particularly those aiming to serve underrepresented communities.

Rimas’ case against the MLBPA is ongoing, and the American Arbitration Association will determine the appeal of the individual penalties. For now, Rimas Sports continues to fight against this punishment by the MLBPA.

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