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Tarnished Twenty's Top 10 Legal Sports Stories of 2014

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By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on December 30, 2014 5:47 AM

Sports and law intersect more often than one may expect. In 2014, several high-profile athletes were charged with crimes or involved in criminal proceedings. But legal troubles weren't just limited to athletes. Cheerleaders and team owners also got into the mix with headline-grabbing legal issues of their own.

What were this year's biggest sports-related legal stories? Here are the 10 most popular posts from FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty in 2014:

  1. Oscar Pistorius Trial: 5 Legal Facts You May Not Know -- The trial of Oscar Pistorius, the South African Olympic star accused of murdering his girlfriend, highlighted some of the major differences between the South African and American criminal justice systems.
  2. Clippers Controversy: Legal to Record Donald Sterling's Comments? -- Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was secretly recorded by his girlfriend making racist comments. Her release of those recordings posed some interesting legal questions regarding eavesdropping and privacy laws.
  3. Colin Kaepernick Responds to Police Probe: 5 Important Points -- San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick became one the many NFL players linked to criminal activity this year when a Miami police announced that they were investigating sexual assault allegations made against him.
  4. Sochi Olympics: What's the Tax on Medals for U.S. Athletes? -- In 2014, U.S. athletes who won medals at the Sochi Winter Olympics paid a higher tax on their winnings (which include prize money) than athletes at the Summer Olympics in 2012.
  5. Oscar Pistorius Not Guilty of Murder: 5 Things You Should Know -- Following a six-month trial, Oscar Pistorius was found not guilty of premeditated murder by a judge, although he was later found guilty of culpable homicide, a lesser charge.
  6. Is the NFL's New Fantasy Football League Legal Where You Live? -- The NFL launched its own Fantasy Football leagues this season, but the NFL's pay-to-play leagues were prohibited by state gambling laws in several states.
  7. Ex-NFL Cheerleader, 47, Charged With Rape of Boy, 15 -- A woman known for being the oldest cheerleader in NFL history also became known for allegedly raping a 15-year-old boy who attended her son's school.
  8. Ravens' Ray Rice Charged in Alleged Assault on Fiancee -- Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was charged with assault after prosecutors obtained video of Rice dragging his fiancee's unconscious body out of an elevator in an Atlantic City casino.
  9. 49ers Bathroom Brawl Caught on Video: 2 Arrested, 2 Hospitalized -- Some unruly San Francisco 49ers fans broke in the team's new stadium with a bathroom melee which sent two men to the hospital and two other men to jail.
  10. FSU Recruit Cinmeon Bowers Arrested for Eating Marijuana -- A junior college football player recruited to play at Florida State was arrested after he was accused of eating marijuana in order to hide it from police during a traffic stop.

That's it for the 2014 Tarnished Twenty all-star squad. But there will doubtlessly be more legal issues impacting athletes and affecting sports in 2015. See you next season.

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