By: Sean Crose
“Roc Nation maintains an unwavering commitment to humanitarianism across its brand portfolio, working to advance social good globally and provide opportunities for vulnerable populations to succeed. Roc Nation supports the expansion of client’s philanthropic efforts through three key areas: full service management of their foundations, philanthropic advisement, and strategic, high-impact partnerships.” – Roc Nation’s web site.
Daniel Twitch Franco is now recovering from brain surgery. It says so on his Twitter page, for all the world to see. Has Roc Nation Sports, which promoted Franco when he was severely damaged while acting as one of companies’ boxers, done anything to help Franco aside from its most fundamental legal obligations? Nope. I reached out to Franco last week to ask if Roc Nation had suddenly and belatedly decided to show concern for its former fighter’s well-being. Franco assured me that Roc Nation has remained as indifferent to his plight as ever – at least on the surface of things – even though he and his family are in debt up to their eyeballs in medical expenses.
Make no mistake about it, what happened to Franco and his family is life changing stuff. And while Roc Nation has presumably done all it legally has to, it would be nice if the company, or if it’s founder, Jay-Z, would reach out to help a former fighter in need. Don’t expect that to happen. Whether Jay-Z is even aware of Daniel Franco’s existence, much less his plight, is legitimately up for debate. You can’t criticize a guy for not helping someone he’s never even heard of, after all.
You can criticize Roc Nation, however, for showcasing its “Philanthropy” on its home page while letting one of its own struggle without batting so much as an eye. Of course, Roc Nation may (“may” being the operative word here) be trying to help the Franco’s behind the scenes. If that were the case, however, it would be nice if the company would let the Francos know. Needless to say that, as of this writing, Roc Nation has yet to return my call for this article (I left a message around 10:30 AM Friday morning. It’s now around 12:30 PM Monday afternoon). This is no surprise, as the entity is famous in the boxing world for being less than easy to deal with.
This isn’t a question of boxing, however. This is a question of reaching out to someone – or to at least show empathy on a basic human level. No doubt there’s a team of lawyers tossing legitimate concerns Roc Nation’s way on this matter. That, however, doesn’t make the silence here any less deafening. While other companies might scramble to fix a situation like the one regarding the Francos, Roc Nation appears unmoved by criticism. That, however, doesn’t make its treatment of the Francos any less right.
Not that anyone who can do anything about it seems to care. Daniel Franco knew what he was getting into when he took up boxing, but one would hope a company cashing in on boxers would go the extra yard when boxers get hurt.