Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

April 2014 Archives

49ers Fan Sues Seahawks, NFL for $50M Over Ticket Sales

Those of us in the San Francisco area know exactly why the Seattle Seachickens refused to sell tickets to people in California -- the team was afraid of a little competition. And though many 49ers fans were irked by the move, and it made scandalous headlines, none of those disgruntled fans would be angry enough to sue, would they?

They would, apparently. John Williams III, a decades-long fan of the team who now resides in Nevada, has filed a lawsuit against the Seattle Seahawks, the National Football League, and the State of Washington over the restrictive ticketing practices, reports The Associated Press. The suit alleges that the team, which plays in a publicly funded stadium partially owned by the State of Washington, violated consumer protection laws.

Williams is seeking $50 million, which seems a bit excessive considering what he missed -- a 23-17 victory for the eventual-champion Seahawks.

Clippers Controversy: Legal to Record Donald Sterling's Comments?

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is in hot water over alleged racist remarks made to girlfriend V. Stiviano about being seen with black people. But was it legal for Sterling's comments to have been recorded in the first place?

A man TMZ has identified as Sterling was caught in an audio recording making racist demands of Stiviano, after the woman posted a picture of herself on Instagram with basketball legend Magic Johnson.

Though many want Sterling to suffer consequences for his alleged remarks, whoever made the recording could potentially also get in trouble -- for breaking California's eavesdropping laws.

Northwestern Football Players' Unionization Vote: 5 Legal Facts

Many Northwestern University football players are scheduled to vote Friday on whether they should be represented by a union. The result may change how the players are treated by the private university.

This vote comes after a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board that players with athletic scholarships are actually university employees who can unionize, reports the Chicago Tribune.

With the college football unionization vote looming, here are five key legal facts to keep in mind:

Buffalo Bills Cheerleaders Sue, Alleging Mistreatment

Five former Buffalo Bills' cheerleaders, better known as Buffalo Jills, are suing the organization and the Jills' management companies for allegedly failing to fully compensate them for their work.

While the lawsuit's claims are based on wage and labor law violations, the Jills also allege that they were subjected to harassment and degrading sexual comments at team events, The Buffalo News reports.

According to the lawsuit, as a condition of their employment on the squad, the Jills had to sign a contract classifying them as independent contractors rather than employees.

Oscar Pistorius' Alleged Acting Lessons Are Nothing New

Olympian Oscar Pistorius' testimony at his murder trial led some people to believe he's taken acting lessons in preparation for court.

Pistorius' "Oscar-worthy" testimony was filled with tears and even vomiting. In fact, Jani Allan, a former columnist for the South African Sunday Times, claims that her friend, a famous South African actor, coached Pistorius for his court appearance, according to New York Daily News.

However, using acting methods to prepare a witness for trial isn't anything new.

High School Wrestlers Won't Be Charged for 'Lynching' Photo

Nothing says racism like a photo of white males lynching an effigy while wearing mock Ku Klux Klan hoods. But a New Jersey high school wrestling team's "ignorance" has helped them to avoid charges for snapping the inflammatory pic.

How did these wrestlers avoid hate crime charges?

49ers' Aldon Smith Arrested After LAX Bomb Threat

More trouble ahead for San Francisco 49ers' players: Aldon Smith was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) for allegedly making a bomb threat.

The linebacker reportedly yelled "bomb" at LAX and made a comment to a TSA agent that he was in possession of an explosive, according to TMZ.

Although Smith was released after posting bail, he was arrested for making a false report of a bomb threat.

Colin Kaepernick Responds to Police Probe: 5 Important Points

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being investigated by Miami police over an alleged incident involving a woman in a hotel room last month.

Responding to rumors and some news reports about possible sexual assault "charges," Kaepernick tweeted that TMZ and others "are completely wrong. They make things up about me that never happened."

In unpacking this Kaepernick police probe, let's look at five important points:

T-Wolves' Dante Cunningham Arrested for Assault, 'Terroristic' Texts

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Dante Cunningham was arrested on a felony domestic assault charge last week, and he was arrested again Sunday for allegedly making "terroristic" threats.

Cunningham allegedly tried to strangle a woman at his home in Medina, west of Minneapolis, and was arrested Friday on domestic violence charges. He bailed himself out, played in a T-Wolves game against Orlando on Saturday, and then was back in jail on a separate charge on Sunday afternoon, reports the Star Tribune.

How did Cunningham manage to get himself arrested twice in one week?

Daniel Murphy's Paternity Leave: What New Dads Need to Know

When New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy took paternity leave this week, some sports fans criticized him on talk radio, because it meant that he would miss out on the first two games of the season.

While some weren't supportive about Murphy's decision, the Mets player ultimately felt that being there for his wife and new son was the best decision for his family, reports ESPN.

So if you're a new dad like Murphy, what do you need to know about paternity leave?