Here’s the thing about the Peterson situation: the only place he’s been convicted is in the Court of Public Opinion. In its rush to serve up its own form of vigilante pseudo-justice in the wake of intense media and public scrutiny, the Vikings and the NFL seem to have forgotten one of the basic tenets of the legal system: it’s better to be right, than first.Read More »
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?Read More »
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.Read More »
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.Read More »
Sports Law Links
It has been a busy couple of weeks in the world of sports law. The Sports Esquires rounds up the top stories in sports law as part of our effort to keep you informed about all that is happening behind the scenes of your favorite leagues and teams.Read More »
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?Read More »
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.Read More »
Could the NCAA Lose Its Tax-Exempt Status?
Football players at Northwestern have cast their union votes. Beyond the outcome of that vote, much uncertainty remains. If the status of scholarship athletes as employees is confirmed on appeal, what does it do to their status as amateur athletes? For student athletes who choose to unionize, what additional benefits/compensation will they seek, and what effect with that have on their amateur statuses? And what effect will these developments have on the tax-exempt status of the NCAA and its member institutions? As you’ll see, the answer to these questions may all be up to the NCAA itself.Read More »