Jun 10, 2024 2 min read

Free VIP Bad Bunny tickets are against the rules, says baseball player union

Last year Bad Bunny and his manager set up a company called Rimas Sport which represents baseball players. But in April one of its agents was decertified by the baseball players’ union. In a resulting legal battle, Rimas has been accused of “grave violations” of the union’s rules

Free VIP Bad Bunny tickets are against the rules, says baseball player union

The US Major League Baseball Players Association has accused Rimas Sports - a sports agency set up by Bad Bunny and his manager Noah Assad - of “a series of grave violations” of its rules for baseball agents. 

According to The Athletic, the MLBPA - the American union for baseball players - made that allegation in a court filing last week as part of an ongoing legal dispute. 

It accused the sports agency of offering baseball players that it was hoping to represent various kickbacks, including a $200,000 interest-free loan, a gift of $19,500 and VIP tickets to Bad Bunny’s shows. All of which violate the union’s rules. 

Assad heads up Rimas Entertainment, a Puerto Rico-based record label and management company best known for its involvement in the career of Bad Bunny, real name Benito Martinez. In 2023, Martinez and Assad - alongside another Rimas exec, Jonathan Miranda - launched Rimas Sports, which describes itself as “a premiere athlete management agency dedicated to the next generation of great Latin American athletes”. 

To act as a baseball agent in the US you need to be certified by the MLBPA. In April, the union announced that it had decertified Rimas agent William Arroyo, and that it had blocked Assad and Miranda from becoming certified agents themselves. The agency hit back at those decisions, dubbing them an improper “death penalty” for the company. 

MLBPA said that it had reached its decisions after discovering that Rimas had promised “improper inducements to dozens of players”, as well as asking people who were not certified agents to undertake the work of an agent. 

Rimas appealed the decisions, but an arbitrator backed the union’s position and rejected the appeal. That’s when Rimas filed legal proceedings in court, accusing the union of scrutinising its operations in “a discriminatory, biased and predetermined investigation” which was specifically designed to “put Rimas Sports permanently out of business”. 

It was in response to that legal action that the MLBPA provided more details about its allegations against Rimas last week, including that VIP access to Bad Bunny concerts was among the things offered to players if they signed up to the agency. In his assessment, the arbitrator who considered the initial appeal apparently wrote that the Rimas strategy seems to have been to “build a baseball agency by luring players with forbidden gifts”. 

The MLBPA argues that the dispute doesn’t belong in court and, therefore, the Rimas legal action should be dismissed. It also alleges that - once Arroyo, Assad and Miranda had been notified that they were under investigation by the union - the three men were “so dismissive of their obligations that they employed their resources and uncertified staff to continue violating” the union’s regulations.

Bad Bunny himself is a “semi-passive investor” in Rimas Sports, according to the MLBPA, and not directly involved in the legal dispute.

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