Tarnished Twenty - FindLaw Sports Law Blog

Tarnished Twenty - The FindLaw Sports Law Blog - features sports law news and info about sports figures in trouble with the law


The response to San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel during the national anthem has ranged from support -- from teammates, other NFL players, and even athletes in other sports -- to condemnation -- from aging rock stars and presidential candidates. And some of that response hasn't been so lighthearted.

Kaepernick says he's gotten death threats on social media and "a couple of different avenues." And if you needed a reminder, death threats are not OK -- not in terms of acceptable adult behavior and not legally, either.

NCAA Gives Immunity to Recruits That Said No to Ole Miss

Ole Miss has been under investigation stemming back to before Laremy Tunsil's social media account was hacked, releasing the infamous video of him using a marijuana gas mask-style pipe. Ole Miss already had some recent setbacks due to the NCAA. During the 2015 season, Tunsil sat out for seven games because he accepted prohibited benefits. Another player, Robert Nkemdiche, was suspended from the Sugar Bowl after being charged with possession of marijuana.

Now, according to sources for Yahoo! Sports, the NCAA is investigating Ole Miss's recruiting tactics. The investigation into the Ole Miss football program has expanded beyond the allegations that surfaced surrounding Tunsil. Ole Miss is no stranger to controversy and bad press, and student athletes at rival schools have now been interviewed about the Rebels' recruiting tactics.

With glory comes a price. American athletes took home a record 121 medals from the Rio 2016 Olympics, including 46 golds. But it's not all profit, sunshine, and rainbows. The tax on winning even a single gold medal could be close to $10,000.

So how much could multiple medal winners end up paying in taxes on the medals themselves and their bonuses? And is there any relief on the horizon?

Ryan Lochte had a truly incredible story about being robbed at gunpoint. The preternaturally adolescent U.S. Olympic swimmer told his mom -- and the FBI, the U.S. State Department, USOC security, and Rio de Janeiro tourist police -- that cop impersonators put a gun to his head in Brazil, taking wallets and cash from he and three other swimmers while they were taking a cab home from a party.

Only that's not what happened. Fellow swimmers Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger have admitted to police that Lochte made the whole thing up, and surveillance video shows the group damaging a gas station bathroom door on their way back to the Olympic Village.

For years, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has tried to legalize sports gambling in the state, in an attempt to revitalizing state casino and racetrack industry. Those efforts took a huge turn this week when the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Christie's New Jersey legislation violated federal anti-sports betting laws.

Those of you who've followed the checkered history of state gambling laws (or have happened to see a commercial reassuring you that what happens in a certain city stays in that certain city) may be asking yourselves why some states get to allow sports betting while others cannot. Unfortunately, the Third Circuit's ruling may not clarify that issue for you.

NFL players and the NFL Players Association have long complained that Commissioner Roger Goodell is acting as judge, jury, and executioner under the league's disciplinary system. But every now and then, his decisions are reviewed by other, real judges. And in almost all of those cases, the judges side with Goodell and the NFL.

Last month, it was the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reinstating Tom Brady's punishment in Deflategate. And this week, it's the Eighth Circuit upholding Adrian Peterson's suspension and fines from a child-beating incident in 2014. In both cases, federal courts basically told players and their union, "Hey, you get what you bargain for."

We didn't know his name at the time, but we knew his work. Last summer, the FBI began investigating the St. Louis Cardinals after an employee clumsily hacked into the Houston Astros scouting database. And we use the word "hacked" loosely here: the criminal mastermind simply logged in using the database creator's password after he switched teams from the Astros to the Cardinals, and did it all from a Cardinals employee's house.

Now we know who that employee is -- ex scouting director Chris Correa -- and what his punishment will be -- almost four years in federal prison.

Confirming what had widely been speculated for months, the NBA is relocating the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, North Carolina because of recent state legislation removing discrimination protections for gay, lesbian, and transgender citizens. Known as HB2, that law also barred transgender people from using bathrooms with gender designations different from those on their birth certificates, and has garnered nation-wide criticism and DOJ lawsuits.

So gone are the game and the attendant week's worth of festivities. As the league said in a statement, "we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2."

It's not just the NFL that has a concussion lawsuit problem. Jimmy Snuka and 50 other retired wrestlers filed a lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., claiming the enterprise "placed corporate gain over its wrestlers' health, safety and financial security, choosing to leave the plaintiffs severely injured and with no recourse to treat their damaged minds and bodies."

Like previous lawsuits against the NFL and NHL, the WWE claim alleges that the league knew about the long-term neurological effects of wrestling and hid them from athletes. Here's a look at how the latest brain injury lawsuit mirrors and differs from those filed before.

The seedy underworld of fight promotion has always been legally murky. After all, the most visible face of boxing promotion, Don King, once pistol-whipped and stomped a former employee to death over $600. So it's no surprise that one promotion company would accuse another of shady dealings, and it's also no surprise that teasing the facts out of so much bluster would be difficult, if not impossible.

And so it is now that "Sugar" Shane Mosley's promotional company, Pound for Pound Promotions, is suing Oscar De La Hoya's promotional company, Golden Boy Promotions, asking for $15 million in back pay, breach of contract, and bad faith damages. Let's take a look at the CompuBox numbers: