Tarnished Twenty: Football Archives

Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

Recently in Football Category

On Thursday of last week, former NFL player Joe McKnight was gunned down in the middle of the day during an alleged road rage incident in Louisiana. Friends, family, fans, and the local community are still mourning the loss of the 28-year-old McKnight. Despite police having obtained a confession, the shooter has been released.

While law enforcement has warned that media reports of the story are inaccurate, witness descriptions provided to the media immediately after explain that the shooter pulled McKnight out of his car, then stood over McKnight and fired three shots. Law enforcement pointed out that McKnight was shot three times, once in the chest, once in the hand, and once in the shoulder.

The NFL has faced quite a few controversies on and off the field, but Darren Sharper's crimes are among the most deplorable the NFL has seen. The former NFL player took a plea deal last year. Since his crimes occurred in multiple jurisdictions, each state's court has issued a different sentence, all of which will be served concurrently.

Most recently, a 20 year sentence was handed down in a Los Angeles courtroom, of which Sharper may only serve half. Earlier, he was sentenced by a Louisiana federal judge to 18 years, but this decision is being appealed. If the appeal is unsuccessful, Sharper may be looking at the full 18 year term behind bars.

The future is here for athletes. Performance enhancing drugs will soon be a thing of the past once performance enhancing sports apps become more widely used. Last month, news broke that Intel is betting hard on a performance enhancing sports app. Their $9 million investment in Kinduct could pay off big time if the company is able to deliver on its promises.

Kinduct allows athletics programs to monitor their athletes in ways never before possible all in one system. The software works by integrating wearable data, with data gathered from other sources, to enable teams, coaches, trainers, doctors, and even the players, to see performance data, prediction models, and more.

Less than a year after Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told daily fantasy sites DraftKings and FanDuel he wanted New Yorkers' losing bets back, and less than six months after the state legislature approved a bill that would legalize and regulate daily fantasy sites, the state of New York and the two major daily fantasy players have settled a lawsuit for $12 million.

But this lawsuit wasn't about violations of the Empire State's gambling and gaming laws -- it was about misleading ads DraftKings and FanDuel were running.

It's a story we've heard too many times to count now. From the NFL down to the high school ranks, and from soccer players to the marching band, it seems like the injuries, and deaths, tied to hazing will never cease.

The most recent tale comes from a school you might not expect: the University of Virginia. Often touted as one of the best public universities in the country -- it ranks in U.S. News and World Reports top 10 for 2017 -- UVA is easily more well-known for its off-the-field academic accomplishments than for anything its football team has won. But it seems like the pervasiveness of sports team hazing can even infect a prestigious university. Here's Aidan Howard's story.

Most sports leagues might be excited to see a GIF or Vine of an awesome play go viral -- after all, that's like free advertising for your product, right? But most sports leagues aren't the NFL, and last week the media behemoth took further steps to protect its trademark on even the smallest snippets of game action.

Under the NFL's new social media policy, its own teams can be fined for posting its own video of games on social media, and are barred from using streaming apps like Facebook Live and Periscope to stream in-stadium footage. And violations of the new rules could quickly lead to six-digit fines. Here's a look.

Former Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans had carved out a nice NFL career from 2006 and 2014. Ryans was the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2006, made the Pro Bowl in 2007 and 2009, served as a captain in Houston and racked up racked up 939 tackles, 13.5 sacks, and 7 interceptions in his career. Ryans even led the Eagles in tackles his last two seasons.

So by all accounts his illustrious career would've continued, had he not torn his Achilles tendon during a visit to his former team in Houston. Ryans was not the first injured player to complain about Houston's turf problems, and he's now the second to sue them over it.

On the heels of the recent concussion controversy for collegiate and professional football players, numerous lawsuits have been filed by former college football players against the NCAA and their respective colleges. The lawsuits allege that the students suffered injuries as a result of their concussions being improperly handled by the school's coaching and athletics personnel. This past July, a federal judge granted preliminary approval to a $75 million class action settlement against the NCAA for their mishandling of concussions. The settlement, however, did not close the door on all the individual injury claims.

Since the settlement, more individual claims have been filed, including seven additional lawsuits by former players filed in August. This month, ESPN is reporting that the number of cases against the NCAA over the concussion scandal has risen to a whopping 43 individual cases.

New York recently passed a law allowing fantasy sports gaming to continue. This new law is now facing a legal challenge by an anti-gambling group.

Last November, NY Attorney General Schneiderman issued an opinion stating that sites like FanDuel and DraftKings were violating the state's gambling laws. Shortly after the sites stopped operating in NY, the state legislature passed a bill that removed fantasy sports gaming from the state's definition of gambling. The bill characterizes fantasy sports gaming as a game of skill rather than chance, and lays the framework for the state to regulate and tax the big money fantasy sports industry.

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).