A former commissioner of Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 basketball league is recanting his explosive claims that the league’s co-founder used racial slurs when referring to African American players, The Post has learned.
Former Big3 commissioner Roger Mason Jr. has agreed to retract claims that Jeff Kwatinetz, who co-founded Big3 with rapper and actor Ice Cube in 2017, called some of the league’s players “rich n—ers,” according to sources familiar with the out-of-court settlement.
Mason made the allegations in March 2018, after he was fired as a commissioner — saying Big3 exposed him and others to a “hostile and racist” work culture. He followed up two months later with a lawsuit against Big3 filed in Los Angeles state court claiming “horrible racial slurs” by Kwatinetz.
As part of the October settlement — hashed out behind closed doors in arbitration — Mason said “he never heard Kwatinetz make any racist or racially charged remarks,” according to a prepared joint statement obtained by The Post.
Mason now pins the foul language previously attributed to Kwatinetz on “a former disgruntled employee who Mr. Mason now knows was lying,” the statement said.
Big3 fired Mason in March 2018 after suing two of its early backers — Qatari investors Ayman Sabi and Ahmed Al-Rumaihi — who were both brought to the league by Mason. The league claimed Mason wrongly sided with the investors instead of Big3 management during the legal proceedings, sources said.
The settlement also shows Big3 dropping its own explosive claims against Mason. The league is no longer accusing Mason of corruption — as it did in earlier court filings — but suggested he was used by the Qatari backers he introduced to Big3, the source said.
The settlement even credits Mason’s contributions to the league, one source said.
Neither Mason nor his lawyers at Moses & Singer lawyers, Philippe Zimmerman and Robert Wolf, could immediately be reached.
Kwatinetz declined comment.
Credit: Source link