Jay-Z, Roc Nation Sports sued by former boxer after severe brain injuries

Johnny Flores Jr.
Yahoo Sports Contributor
Daniel Franco is suing rapper Jay-Z and his sports management company Roc Nation Sports for what he alleges is negligence, per multiple reports. (Getty Images)

Daniel Franco, a former boxer forced into retirement after suffering a near-fatal brain injury, is suing rapper Jay-Z and his sports management company Roc Nation Sports for what he alleges is negligence, per multiple reports.

Franco, 27, signed with Roc Nation Sports in 2015 and began a promising boxing career before being forced into retirement. Franco’s issues with Roc Nation stem from being forced into taking three fights in 79 days and, in turn, receiving multiple brain injuries as a result.

He ‘must go forward with the fight’

Per documents reviewed by Pitchfork, Franco claims that he and his father asked Roc Nation to postpone or cancel a fight scheduled for March 23, 2017 due to missing training because of the flu, but was told he “must go forward with the fight.”

Franco would go on to lose to Christopher Martin by TKO on that night. Several weeks later in May, Franco was in the ring again where he won in Mexico. Then a month after that Franco took on Jose Haro on June 10, 2017.

Haro knocked out Franco in the eighth round and he suffered a brain hemorrhage. Franco underwent two surgeries, including one in which a piece of his skull was removed to reduce pressure. Per the lawsuit, it was discovered that two separate skull fractures and a brain bleed occurred in one of the two other fights prior to the hemorrhage.

“My head’s still like … I try to run every now and then, but it hurts my head still when I run from my brain bouncing around and stuff,” Franco told the Orange County Register in 2018. “So I think just from all the procedures I’ve been through that it has loosened some things up.”

Franco’s injury could have been prevented

Franco earned $6,000 in the loss and was told that Roc Nation would help with the outstanding medical bills, per The Blast. However, it was a false promise according to Franco. A 2017 article by the Los Angeles Times noted that Franco and his father, Al, begged Roc Nation to help promote a crowdfund campaign, but were unsuccessful.

Now, Franco claims he still suffers from severe cognitive issues and must also wear a protective helmet at all times.

“Had an MRI or other brain imaging been performed, the fractures and hemorrhage would have been discovered prior to the June 10, 2017 fight, necessitating a cancellation,” the lawsuit reads.

The amount he is seeking is unspecified.

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