Jay-Z Seeks to Halt Court Proceedings Due to ‘Discriminatory’ Lack of Black Arbitrators

Rapper Jay-Z reportedly got a judge to temporarily halt arbitration proceedings in his Rocawear dispute with Iconix Brand Group on Wednesday after arguing the small number of “available African-American arbitrators” was discriminatory, The Wall Street Journal reports. Justice Saliann Scarpulla delayed proceedings until Dec. 11 after the rapper’s lawyers requested time to allow the parties to locate African-American arbitrators, his lawyer, Alex Spiro, told the Journal. According to court documents, both parties had agreed to pick an arbitrator from a list provided by the American Arbitration Association but Jay-Z's lawyers found that the list did not feature “a single African-American arbitrator with the necessary qualifications to oversee the present case.” When Jay-Z’s attorneys reportedly asked the association for a list of African-American arbitrators, the association allegedly gave them a list featuring six arbitrators of color and only two of them were black. “The AAA has discriminated against Mr. Carter on the basis of his race by denying him privileges equal to those afforded to other non-minority parties,” Jay-Z’s lawyers wrote in court documents.