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 Washington Redskins have faced criticism for decades about their team name and logo being offensive to Native Americans, as the term "Redskins" carries a pejorative meaning and tone. The US Patent and Trademark Office allowed the trademark to be registered half a dozen times in the past. However, in 2014, the USPTO cancelled the prior trademarks and refused to register it again, citing that the name is disparaging to Native Americans.

While the Washington Redskins case is still being appealed in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and thus is not ripe for the Supreme Court to decide, a similar case will be decided this term (assuming there isn't a 4-4 split).

A quick scan of NASCAR's website reveals that not a single one of its 48 Sprint Cup drivers is black, none of NASCAR's senior management is black, and only one of the 18 teams has even partial black ownership. And now a lawsuit is citing the lack of diversity and claiming that NASCAR officials actively prevent black-owned teams and drivers from competing in its top flight.

And the plaintiffs are looking for a $500 million judgment against the racing league.

The words 'Floyd Mayweather' and 'jewelry shopping spree' often find themselves colliding in headlines. But according to one Las Vegas jeweler, the man they call "Money" doesn't always pay his debts.

The Jewelers Inc. claim Mayweather still owes them $1.4 million for a necklace the boxer bought last year, and are suing him in Clark County Court to get paid.

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.

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.