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


Donovan McNabb, Marshall Faulk, Warren Sapp, Ike Taylor, Eric Davis, and Heath Evans. All former NFL stars who've been to Super Bowls or Pro Bowls in their careers; all accused of sexual misconduct during their time as analysts on the NFL Network; and all (of those still employed) suspended from their current jobs at that network or ESPN in the wake of a former stylist's lawsuit.

Jami Cantor claims those players made lewd comments and sexual advances, sent her sexually explicit texts and photos, and even groped her at work, and is suing NFL Network for discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environment, retaliation, and wrongful termination.

Doping allegations have plagued Russian athletes for years. Prior to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, the World Anti-Doping Agency concluded that Russia's Anti-Doping Agency, its Ministry of Sport, and Federal Security Service operated a "state-directed" doping system and Russian athletes were banned from the competition. Part of the evidence used for that ruling came from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

More allegations appear to have doomed Russia's participation in the next Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The International Olympic Committee has banned Russian athletes from participating in the Games, and also forbid government officials from attending.

You may have been aware that, even in this day and age of no-fault divorces, claims of adultery can still have an effect on divorce proceedings in certain states. What you may not have realized, however, is that certain jurisdictions still allow lawsuits based on "alienation of affection," essentially a jilted lover's claim that someone deprived them of sexual relations with their ex-spouse.

One of those jurisdictions is North Carolina, where jilted husband Joshua Jeffords is suing Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Fletcher Cox, claiming Cox's affair with his wife Catherine Cuesta Jeffords destroyed their marriage.

Those who have been following recent concussion-related lawsuits against the NFL and Pop Warner will be familiar with CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurological disease discovered in 99 percent of NFL players' brains donated to an MIT study. The frustrating thing -- for players, their families, and scientists alike -- has been the fact that CTE could only be diagnosed posthumously, after a patient had passed away or, as in many cases, committed suicide.

However, researchers now believe they have a method for identifying CTE in living patients, which could have enormous health and legal consequences.

By most accounts, ESPN's '30 for 30' documentary series has been a hit with fans, providing a deeper perspective into some of the most important recent sports stories from the past three decades. One such entry, It's Time, featured the tale of Chucky Mullins, an Ole Miss football player who was paralyzed in a 1989 game against Vanderbilt and passed away two years later.

The only problem was that another Mullins documentary, Undefeated, already existed. And now the maker of that film is suing the network for copyright infringement. The lawsuit claims ESPN agreed to license footage from Undefeated, but then used it without paying and altered some of the images.

The long saga of Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott versus the National Football League reached the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals this week, where Elliott was granted a stay of his suspension. After a U.S. District Court in New York ruled in the NFL's favor, the NFL Players Association appealed the ruling to the Second Circuit, and won Elliott at least a brief reprieve -- he will play this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

So what does this mean for Elliot and his case going forward?

On October 24, 2016, Jason Coy fell about 60 feet from a stairwell on the north side of Mile High Stadium after a Broncos game. The 36-year-old suffered several blunt force injuries to his head, skull, neck, and torso, and was pronounced dead early morning the next day.

Last week, Coy's widow and his five children filed a premises liability lawsuit against the Metropolitan Football Stadium District and the stadium's management company, claiming Mile High "contained a defective, unsafe, non-obvious and dangerous condition in a fire escape corridor and staircase on which [Coy] fell to his death."

Sports doping is a funny thing. First, some leagues or competitions seem to take doping more seriously than others, and punishments and other enforcement mechanisms can vary as well. Second, the list of banned substances can vary depending on the sport and the country, and in some cases there is little reason behind why some substances are banned and others are not. Third, some substances, perfectly legal under a nation's drug laws, may be banned, leaving athletes wondering which may garner a doping charge.

And then there's the matter of punishment: from the league or competition, from an anti-doping agency, and from law enforcement. But the British government, at least, put the kibosh on criminalizing doping in sports. The UK's minister of sport, Tracey Crouch, announced last week that those found violating the nation's anti-doping regulations would not face jail time.

Former San Francisco Forty-Niner QB Colin Kaepernick filed a grievance and demand for arbitration against the NFL and all 32 member teams, alleging "NFL team owners, NFL employees, and team employees, have entered into and enforced, implied and/or express agreements to specifically deprive Claimant Colin Kaepernick from employment in the NFL," in violation of the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The free has been out of football since the end of the 2016, during which he began kneeling during the national anthem to protest instances of police brutality specifically, and racial inequality in the United States generally. His grievance claims those protest led to the NFL and team owners to blackball him from the league.

No, this is not a new Naked Gun movie, nor is it the plot to the newest refresh of Dragnet, Police Squad, Hot Fuzz, Super Troopers, or Team America. NYPD officer extraordinaire, James Frascatore, has likely been living in a personal hell since, arguably, making the biggest mistake of his career: tackling and cuffing international tennis star James Blake.

However, now that Frascatore has hopefully been thoroughly made to regret his actions, he is filing a defamation lawsuit against the celebrity tennis star he tackled, the publisher of Blake's latest book, the city of New York, the NYPD, and others. The cop's lawsuit claims that the statements each made regarding the incident caused him reputational harm, and even led to members of the public making threats of violence against him and his family.