“When you meet today with Putin’s new friend, Emir of Qatar, please tell him not to threaten the Big3 and American athletes!,” read a full page ad in the New York Times placed by Ice Cube and directed to President Donald Trump.
The message to Trump follows a $1.2 billion dollar lawsuit filed by Ice Cube’s and Big3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz‘ earlier this month maintaining that Qatari investors withheld funds in an attempt to muscle them out of the league.
The Qatari nationals— who claimed to have ties to the royal family for $1.2 billion—paid little more than half of the money they agreed to invest in the BIG3 basketball league launched by the rap star/actor last year.
The suit accuses the Qatari nationals of interference with contractual relationships, libel and defamation, stating that one of the investors referred to the African-American players as “Rich Nigg*s”.
The ad is signed by Ice Cube, Jeff Kwatinetz, Clyde “The Glide” Drexler and the players and coaches of the BIG3, including Allen Iverson, Julius Irving, Gary Payton and Charles Oakley.
The funding shortfall has reportedly made it more difficult for the league—whose second season begins on June 22 in Houston— to operate to its fullest potential.
“The BIG3 was created as the ultimate basketball fan experience,” said Ice Cube of the 3-on-3, half-court basketball competition played in arenas around the world.
“We’re bringing some of the baddest names to ever play the game and giving them a platform to not only showcase their skills, but to entertain their fans in a high-energy, physical and competitive environment.”