Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

October 2015 Archives

The Satanic Temple of Seattle has requested permission to lead a satanic invocation on the field after a high school football game, all because an assistant coach refused to stop leading post-game midfield prayer sessions. If allowed, members of the group will wear ceremonial robes, carry an incense burner, and lead a seven-minute ceremony, including reading of a proclamation, punctuating the end of each sentence by banging a gong.

The Bremerton School District had warned Coach Joe Kennedy to stop leading public Christian prayers on the 50-yard line after games, but Kennedy pushed back, saying the prayers happen after the game, so at that point it is no longer an official school function. The school district isn't buying it and placed Kennedy on administrative leave.

Being a pro cheerleader looks like a pretty good gig, but the more we learn about how professional sports teams treat their cheerleaders, the less fun it sounds. Most recently, the Cincinnati Ben-Gals, the same Bengals cheerleaders subjected to dehumanizing rules like "no panties" and "so slouching breasts," just reached a $255,000 settlement with the team over federal wage and hour violations.

Cheerleaders may now officially be employees, but they aren't getting compensated like their male athletic counterparts just yet. And in some cases, they're not even making minimum wage.

Bastian Schweinsteiger is a German soccer player. It would be fair to say that Bastian Schweinsteiger looks very German. Teutonic, even. Is Bastian Schweinsteiger the most German looking person ever? Possibly. Does Bastian Schweinsteiger look like a Nazi soldier? Um, that depends on who you ask.

A Chinese toy company introduced a new Nazi soldier to its WWII collection. The Nazi soldier's name is Bastian. He looks ... very German. Does Bastian the Nazi toy soldier look like Bastian Schweinsteiger? You can judge for yourself:

The proliferation of sports nutrition companies and performance supplements has led to a proliferation of lawsuits regarding the content of the products and the veracity of their claims. Sports supplements are a billion-dollar industry and consumers are claiming that they're not getting what they pay for.

Some of these lawsuits attack supplement brands for false advertising, while others claim that products aren't accurately labeled. Here's a look at two recent lawsuits and what might happen:

Call it FIFA Lite. The treasurer of a Manhattan nonprofit youth baseball organization allegedly embezzled $90,000 over the course of three years. The only man with access to the league's account made over 50 withdrawals and spent almost $3,000 on car repairs.

His ruse was discovered when another league employee demanded access to the account and prosecutors are promising swift justice.

Nevada, the one state open to legalized sports betting, is shutting down fantasy sports sites that insist they're anything but. State regulators have determined that daily fantasy sports operations constitute gambling and therefore must obtain official licensing to continue operations.

Without a license, fantasy sites like DraftKings and FanDuel will no longer be able to operate in the state.

Your ability to see snippets of sports highlights, or lowlights, on Twitter may be in danger. On Monday night, Twitter temporarily suspended accounts for Deadspin and SB Nation. Although Twitter hasn't commented publicly about the suspensions, they were presumably in response to complaints from the NFL regarding the use of copyrighted game footage in GIF format.

While Deadspin's account was reinstated about an hour after the suspension, SB Nation's highlight account, @SBNationGIF, remains suspended as of this posting. And the entire episode raises questions about copyright, free speech, and access to social media.

You may have missed this little tidbit in the latest deluge of daily fantasy advertisements, but the New York Attorney General's Office has begun investigating both daily fantasy sites on the suspicion that their employees "have won lucrative payouts based on inside information not available to the public." This after news broke that a DraftKings employee who had access to ownership and lineup data netted $350,000 in winnings at rival FanDuel.

There have been rumblings of a congressional investigation into daily fantasy sites, and this latest scandal may bring daily sports gambling fantasy leagues as we know them to a grinding halt.

Major League Baseball has been operating with the benefit of an antitrust exemption for almost a century, a benefit the Ninth Circuit recently declared "one of federal law's most enduring anomalies." Many challengers have come at the king of all protections, and, thus far, all have missed.

The latest attack came from the city of San Jose, California, who claimed the effort of MLB and the team owners to block the Oakland A's from relocating to the South Bay was unlawful under laws designed to prohibit monopolies, collusion, and price fixing. The latest defeat came at the hands of the Supreme Court of the United States, who declined to hear San Jose's appeal.

After a judge dismissed domestic violence charges against Hope Solo in January, an appeals court reinstated the charges today. The American goalkeeper that lead the national team to World Cup glory this past summer is accused of attacking her half-sister and nephew last year.

There is no timetable set for her trial yet, and Solo's attorney says he will appeal the decision.