Opinion

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SLAC phoenix

Reflections from SLA 45 from a First Time Attendee Part 1

From May 16th to 19th, the Sports Lawyers Association held its 45th annual conference, in Phoenix, Arizona, with the beautiful JW Marriott resort as its temporary home and red mountains, cacti and palm trees as its backdrop. As a first time attendee and someone who has one toe (or two) dipped into the sports law pool but who is seriously contemplating jumping in feet or bottom first, not only was this the best and only place to be but the event did not disappoint.

SLAC Phoenix

Reflections from SLA 45 from a First Time Attendee Part 2

As I mentioned in part 1 of this review, the three-day Sports Lawyers Annual Conference was a mine of information and summarizing it adequately would be an impossible task. One would have had to be able to be at different places at once in order to attend every session and hear every word but, my hope is that my list of takeaways captures enough of its essence to be of interest to people who were in attendance and people who were not. In this second and last part, I focus on student-athletes in the NCAA, sports betting & gambling, and sexual abuse.

Bettman Clears the Barr

May Day 2019 was an unprecedented opportunity for people in North America to behold two important figures appear before two governmental bodies and try their best to sell their disinformation.

Kaepernick Reid Settlement Social Justice

Perspective: It’s Not ‘Either / Or’ with Kaepernick and Reid

February 15th, 2019, started with the surprising announcement that the National Football League had settled the two civil lawsuits Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid had filed against it and, as you can imagine, the news was met with widely different reactions based on where people stood on the cases. To put it simply, if you were pro­Kaepernick and pro­Reid, you saw it as a win for the two men. David had just dealt a big blow to Goliath. If you were on the side of the league, you saw it as a win for this big and powerful institution. They had proven once again that they could not be touched. The truth lies somewhere in­between

Irv Eatman-USFL

AAF Brings Back Fond Memories of USFL

Over the last month or so I have watched several of the games from the new spring league, the Alliance of American Football. I found many of the games entertaining and if the “logo” bias were removed the games would likely be more appealing to a wider audience.

I am pulling for the league to flourish for several reasons. Number one, I always like pulling for the underdog, second I like anything that gives young players another opportunity to pursue their dreams and lastly watching AAF brings back memories of the three most enjoyable years I had in a different spring pro football league called the USFL.

Plantation college football

The current model of major college football is morally bankrupt

As the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers decide the FBS national championship at Levi’s Stadium tonight, there’s no getting around the fact that the status quo of the industry they are engaged in is paramount to racism and slavery.

Twas the night before Christmas

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (sports law edition)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the land
Cases had been argued, seeking remand;
The sports leagues were busy, all driven by greed,
In hopes that their coffers would greatly exceed;

Welcome to the NFL Matrix

To Understand the NFL’s Inconsistent Handling of Domestic Violence, You Have to Enter the Matrix

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

The Murder of Jordan Edwards

The Murder of Jordan Edwards – HBO Real Sports Takes an Up-Close and Personal Look at Police Brutality in America

Premiering Tuesday October 23, HBO Real Sports examines the police shooting death of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. Jordan was both a scholar and an athlete. In the state of Texas where high school football is king, Jordan was a first-year football player at Mesquite High School in Balch Springs, Texas a suburb of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex with a population of just under 24,000 people.

Kaepernick and Russell

Independence Day ponderings: The Enduring Legacy of Activist Athletes

Stick to sports. Shut up and dribble. Comments such as these ignore the past, attempting to remove the political significance of sports as if this is something shocking or new. Sports have always been a microcosm of society as well as a catalyst for reflection and change.

The problem of ‘sleeping with the enemy’

It’s no secret that the NFL has serious issues. Whether it’s delays and schemes in the concussion settlement, unethical prescription painkiller practices, inconsistent discipline, or concussion protocol problems, there are plenty of angles from which to criticize that league. Putting the NFL aside, there are issues with the collegiate level of American football as well.

The Atlanta Falcons probably should pay property taxes, but whether that makes them guilty of fraud is another matter

October 21, 2017 Derek Helling A recently-filed lawsuit by several plaintiffs against the Fulton County (Georgia) Board of Tax Assessors again raises questions about whether close relationships between professional sport entertainment corporations are proper, but will probably fail to achieve much more than furthering that conversation. On Tuesday, Oct. 17, Fayetteville, Ga., attorney Wayne Kendall …

KC Royals Painted Rose Bush

The Kansas City Royals’ painted rose bushes

July 3, 2017 Derek Helling @dhellingsports The Kansas City Royals are a privately-owned business, and free to take sponsorship money from any individuals and/or organizations they choose. As a privately-owned business, they are also free to make statements of any kind on any matter they so choose. What the Royals, and other corporations like them, …

Support Good Journalism

It’s time to support good sports journalism

Sheilla Dingus @SheillaDingus June 14, 2017 I just discovered that Vocativ Sports is no more. I find it particularly distressing in that this was an outlet that wasn’t the least bit shy in reporting on the injustices in the sports world. One of their writers Robert Silverman I’ll particularly miss on the Vocativ platform (although …

Open Letter to Roger Goodell

Dear Mr. Goodell, Thank you for the recent letter to NFL fans.  I’m pleased to see that the League is paying attention to certain concerns. I feel that the manner in which you addressed these issues in your letter shows much promise and wish you the very best in implementing some positive changes. I especially …

Baylor football

No More Band-Aids for Gaping Wounds – Baylor as a Warning to Collegiate Sports

At some point, as Title IX lawsuits are accumulating at Baylor University, the public becomes aware, and shock and horror prevail. The most recent filing alleged 52 rapes in a four year period from 2011 to 2014. Asserting a “show ‘em a good time” approach to football recruiting, Kendal Briles, former Head Coach Art Briles’ son and now the offensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic University was reported in the suit to have asked a student athlete, “Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players.” Though not yet corroborated, the allegations are so numerous, that they reach incredulous proportions.

Wicked Web

Roger Goodell’s Wicked Web

Why all the sad and angry faces my fellow Patriots fan friends? While Roger Goodell won the legal battle in Deflategate and forced Tom Brady to serve a four-game suspension, he lost the war! “Public confidence in the integrity of the game of professional football” is at an all-time low, and this is in large part due to Deflategate, and now the short-lived nontroversy of Deflategate 2.0. What an irony. The “crime” of undermining confidence in the integrity of the game which he tried to pin on Tom Brady backfired and Goodell is now the poster child for that brand of “integrity.”.
Tom Brady has shown he’s a better man than Roger Goodell by taking the high road and simply going out and playing the best football of his career at age 39. He’s scorching the record books. His actions are not those of a loser, but a winner!

domestic violence in the NFL

“Real-life Approach” Needed for Dealing with Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in Sports Leagues and Beyond

As ADA Render emphasized, the needs of the victim need to be the “first priority” in cases of this nature. Both Daniel Wallach and Dr. Abrams expressed that the sports leagues, and NFL, in particular have difficulty grappling with this issue in part because they attempt to lump everything into a “one-size-fits-all” approach. The problem with that is there’s no standard victim and no standard offender.

Sexual Assault

How the Derrick Rose Trial Mirrors Society’s Conceptions of Rape

Rape, or sexual assault is a crime that invokes nearly unilateral outrage in society, but it is one of the most misunderstood and difficult offenses to successfully prosecute. Using forced vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse as a definition of rape, it is estimated to affect[1] one out of every five to six American women.

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in Sports

Déjà vu? Nearly each week, a new headline surfaces alleging that an athlete has committed an act of domestic violence or sexual assault. Recent infractions in the NFL such as those involving Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Johnny Manziel and Josh Brown, have placed domestic violence in the glaring spotlight repeatedly, along with questionable practices on the part of the league regarding subsequent investigations and punishment.

O Say Can You See?

Why the Anthem Controversy is a Good Thing by Sheilla Dingus September 14, 2016 When 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick remained on the bench for the national anthem a few weeks ago, he unleashed a firestorm as fierce as “rocket’s red glare,” simultaneously setting off a debate as loud as “bombs bursting in air,” to borrow …

Doe v Rose

Doe v. Rose: Why I had to Weigh In

A woman, known to most by the pseudonym Jane Doe has accused pro basketball superstar Derrick Rose of gang rape in a civil lawsuit. At the beginning of the suit, TMZ launched some sensational headlines that portrayed Doe as an evil gold-digger. Then the case seemed to fade away for a while until the scorched earth tactics of both parties’ lawyers caught the attention of a number of sports law experts whose coverage seemed to propel the case back into the media spotlight as the trial date approached. Doe and her attorneys spent two days with the press in an attempt to present Doe’s side of the story which prompted Rose’s counsel to successfully petition the judge for a gag order…One of the situations that could go against Doe is the fact that she did not report the rape to police nor did she pursue civil action until nearly two years after the alleged assault. While this seems plausible, her reasons for not doing so to me are at least equally gripping; especially the statement that she didn’t want her family to find out. To some, this may seem insignificant, but not to me. I literally burst into tears when I read it because it was a prime concern to me when I was raped over thirty years ago. Until now, this has been my most carefully guarded secret. My mother went to her grave not knowing and unless, in the unlikely event my father happens across this article, the same will probably be said for him.