Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

March 2016 Archives

There's no question that when it comes to winning titles, the United States women's national soccer team is more successful than their male counterparts: three World Cup trophies, four Olympic gold medals, and one more CONCACAF Gold Cup title than the dudes. (The men's team did win a thing called the Marlboro Cup back in '89, so they've got that at least.)

So it's no surprise that members of the USWNT feel like they should get paid like members of the USMNT, or at least not only one tenth of what members of the USMNT are getting paid. To that end, five USWNT players (with the support of the whole team) filed a federal wage discrimination complaint against American soccer's governing body.

It's been a bad month for the NFL and its concussion problem. Earlier in the month, the NFL's senior vice president for health and safety admitted that there was "certainly" a link between playing football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Then last week The New York Times exposed the NFL's already flawed concussion research as being even worse than previously believed.

Now, a new lawsuit (filed by an old plaintiff) is citing this new evidence as the basis for new litigation.

Kevin Turner played eight seasons in the NFL with the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles. Turner was also the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the NFL over the league's handling of concussions. "It's about helping people who had their brains affected in a very drastic way, and to make their lives so much more livable," he told The New York Times in 2014, "not just them but their families, and to supplement their health care."

Turner passed away last Thursday, at the age of 46.

Ousted Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been doing everything in his legal power to fight the sale of his team. And his most audacious lawsuit, a $1 billion claim against the NBA, Commissioner Adam Silver, former Commissioner David Stern, his wife Rochelle Sterling, and two neurologists who declared him mentally unfit, was emphatically dismissed by a federal court in California.

It's merely the latest in a long line of setbacks for the racist, sexually harassing, domestic abusing slumlord, but in true Donald Sterling fashion, he has vowed to keep suing.

If there's anything better than Spring Break, it's videos of bros acting a fool at Spring Break, then local police departments posting those videos to their Facebook page along with said bro's arrest warrant and a request to turn himself in. It's a seasonal ritual not unlike the first cherry blossoms or the salmon returning to Capistrano.

And so we salute Kameron, the Spring Break bro who acted a fool by launching a football at a Gulf Shores Police Department SUV on the beach. And we toast the Gulf Shores Police Department, who posted video of the pinpoint bomb, along with Kameron's name and the warrant that has been issued for his arrest.

The ongoing saga of the State of New York and its attorney general Eric Schneiderman versus DraftKings and FanDuel has been an entertaining one. Schneiderman declared the daily fantasy sites "constitute illegal gambling under New York law," ordered them to stop taking bets in the state, and then asked for New Yorkers' money back. In December, a New York Supreme Court judge issued an injunction against the companies that was later suspended by another court.

And after all that, it looks like Schneiderman has won (for now). DraftKings and FanDuel announced today that they will be suspending operations in New York, subject to a future change in the legal climate.

March Madness tips off today -- do you know where your bracket is? Did you go all chalk? Pick the right 12/5 upset? And, more importantly, did you get your money in the right pool?

A press release from the American Gaming Association estimates Americans will wager some $9.2 billion on March Madness this year, most of that illegally. The AGA estimates only $262 million of that will be wagered at Nevada sports books. So is Janice from accounting about to get busted for illegal gambling?

The National Football League announced it has suspended Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Bryant has indicated he will not appeal the suspension and will sit out for at least one year.

Bryant was also suspended for four games in 2015 for testing positive for marijuana, and one of his agents, Brian Fettner, told USA Today Bryant would enter rehab for drug and mental health treatment: "His isn't a party issue. It's a coping issue and a depression issue, and he's got to take care of it."

Pop Warner is the nation's premier youth football organization. With a quarter of million annual participants, just about every player in the NFL got their start in Pop Warner. And this week, Pop Warner settled a scathing lawsuit that claimed the league "recklessly exposed children to the risk of injury including head, brain and other injuries."

The suit was filed by Debra Pyka, whose son Joseph Chernach hung himself in June 2012. Pyka claimed that concussions sustained during Chernach's Pop Warner days were a "substantial factor" in his suicide.

Virginia will become the first state to legalize and regulate online fantasy sports this summer. This week, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed the Fantasy Contests Act, which requires daily fantasy sites like DraftKings and FanDuel to register and submit annual audits to the state.

While other states have been lining up to designate daily fantasy sites as illegal gambling operations, Virginia seems to be moving in the opposite direction, perhaps looking to cash in on daily fantasy rather than outlaw it.

The highest-earning female athlete in the world admitted she failed a drug test for a banned performance enhancing substance. Maria Sharapova announced on Monday she tested positive for meldonium at January's Australian Open.

So what in the world is meldonium? How long will Sharapova be suspended, if at all? And what does that mean for her sponsorships, which have paid her in the neighborhood of $200 million?

Trial Highlights: Sportscaster Erin Andrews' Injury Suit

Fox News sportscaster Erin Andrews was filmed naked in 2008 in her hotel room in a Nashville, Tennessee Marriott, and that video went viral in 2009. The release caused her personal and professional distress and damages, Andrews says. She is demanding $75 million from the hotel in an injury suit happening in Nashville now.

This week Andrews testified about the impact the video had on her life, and she was in tears about the violation of privacy, as well as the fact that her former employer ESPN forced her to discuss the video in an on-air interview. But the defense is not buying it, and has proposed that Andrews' star actually rose because she's been seen in the nude.

In its first case under the league's new domestic violence policy, Major League Baseball suspended Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman for the first 30 games of the upcoming season. Chapman's girlfriend accused him of choking her during an argument last year.

In a statement, Chapman said he accepts the punishment and will not appeal the league's decision. "The decision to accept a suspension, as opposed to appealing one, was made after careful consideration," he said. "I made this decision in an effort to minimize the distractions that an appeal would cause the Yankees, my new teammates and most importantly, my family."