Tuesday , November 21 2017
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Legal news and analysis of the NFL

What is the Commissioner’s Exemption List? Why Have I Never Heard of This Before?

What is the Commissioner's Exemption List? Why have you never heard of it before? Why is it being used to distance the NFL from player's accused of domestic violence?

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The Ray Rice Fallout

The entire situation involving Ray Rice is extremely sad. In the last 72 hours, everyone – and I do mean everyone – has asked if the Ravens and the NFL saw TMZ’s video of the incident inside the elevator prior to its public release. That’s the wrong question. The right question is – What did the Ravens and the NFL expect to see? The way the League handled – or mishandled if you prefer – the Ray Rice situation is Exhibit A for the problems with the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. Everything about the Ray Rice situation has been upsetting, but hopefully this negative can be transformed into a positive by addressing the endemic issue of domestic violence.

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Clarifying the Chaos: What Is Really Going On With the NFL Personal Conduct Policy

Much has been written about the indefinite suspension of Ray Rice, including calls for Roger Goodell to resign or be fired. But few if any articles have taken the time to explain what exactly happened and what could happen from a legal standpoint. The vast majority of the conversation about the suspension has focused on righteous finger-wagging at the NFL, Roger Goodell, and the Ravens. While each of those parties deserves their fair share of scorn, there is an opportunity to learn, grow and move forward that is being missed.

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Putting Down the Pom-Poms: NFL Cheerleaders Fight for Minimum Wages

Cheerleaders for five NFL teams have filed suit in the last year alleging violations of state and federal minimum wage laws. Do they have a case? What will they need to prove in order to receive back pay and even liquidated damages?

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Green with Envy: The Rightful Role of Marijuana in the NFL

Should the NFL test for and punish the use of marijuana by its athletes? Does the cost-benefit analysis of the current policies offer a net positive to the league?

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Setting the Record Straight – What The Cancellation of the Washington Redskins Trademarks Really Means

For the second time in 15 years, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has cancelled the federal registrations for six trademarks of the Washington Redskins on grounds that the team name is disparaging to Native Americans. The amount of incorrect information circulating about this decision is astounding. Particularly during the hours immediately following the decision, multiple major news sources were issuing incorrect or misleading reports about the impact of the USPTO’s decision. This article will attempt to set the record straight by laying out the complete history of the case and it’s reasonably certain future. No opinion on whether the name should be changed will be given.

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Drafting for the Bottom Line

The revamped rookie wage scale implemented under the current NFL collective bargaining agreement allows business incentives to influence draft choices. When first round draft picks were walking away with signing bonuses in the tens of millions of dollars this would not have been possible. The financial impact of a rookie would have done little to offset their contractual demands. But things have changed. Theoretically, if the average price of the 2,300 season tickets the Browns have sold since drafting Manziel is $1,000 then the financial impact of drafting him is approximately $2.3 million. This amounts to more than 25% of the approximate rookie contract Manziel will sign covering his first four years in the League. Perhaps in the near future teams will not only commission a study on the analytics of potential draft picks but their economic impact as well.

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Don’t Tread on Me: LaVar Arrington Can and Should Refer to Himself as a “Redskins Great”

Dan Snyder and the Redskins managed to stay out of the headlines for a few days, as they were without a first round pick for the 25th time in 79 drafts. Perhaps this motivated the team to send LaVar Arrington a cease-and-desist letter about a flier for his football tackling camps that refers to him as a “Redskins Great” and includes a photo of him in a Redskins uniform.

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Life After Hernandez: How the Potential for Off-Field Incidents Impacts Employment Opportunities

An in-depth look at how the new NFL CBA allows teams to minimize financial risk when signing players with "off-field issues."

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ON FOOTBALL AND TAXES: THE PUSH TO REVOKE THE NFL’S TAX-EXEMPT STATUS

You may have never heard of Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) of Utah. If you have heard of him, then you likely know his general stance on taxes. I have heard of him…in fact, I met him once in Washington, D.C. And I can tell you from personal experience, a more ardent supporter of the anti-tax Tea Party movement there is not. But Chaffetz’s general stance on taxes did not stop him from recently introducing H.R. 3965, a bill which would revoke the tax exempt status of all professional sports organizations, including the National Football League, National Hockey League, and the Professional Golfers Association.

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