US entertainer Ice Cube had some harsh words for the emir of Qatar and told him “not to threaten Big3 player”, going so far as to taking out a full-page ad in the New York Times to make his message heard.
Cube is the owner of the BIG3 3-on-3 basketball league featuring mostly retired National Basketball Association players.
Cube and co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz, a veteran executive in the entertainment industry, filed a lawsuit against Qatar seeking $1.2 billion in damages and allege they were swindled by foreign investors, including Qatar’s Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, the CEO of Qatar Investment Authority.
In Tuesday’s edition of The New York Times, Cube wrote: “Hey President Trump. When you meet today with (Vladimir) Putin's new friend, the Emir of Qatar, please tell him not to threaten the BIG3 and American athletes!”.
However a statement from QIA denied the report. “This article includes a number of allegations that are unfounded and incorrect. Among others, neither the Qatar Investment Authority nor its CEO are investors in, nor have they had any involvement with, Big3” the statement said.
Also TMZ Sports which broke the story published an update Tuesday. It said that "the investment group named in the lawsuit, Sport Trinity, has issued a statement saying: The Sport Trinity investors have to date contributed more than 3.5x any other investor in the BIG3, putting in close to half of all funds invested in the BIG3 and multiples of what Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz themselves invested. The smear campaign against these investors, one of whom is a Qatari citizen, and against others from Qatar who have nothing to do with Sport Trinity, is as bizarre as it is offensive."