Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

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Few fighters know how to put their face into the media spotlight better than Conor McGregor. But today he's getting attention for all the wrong reasons, and probably a mugshot to boot.

McGregor and his entourage crashed a UFC media event in Brooklyn last night and attacked a bus carrying other UFC fighters. This morning, he was arraigned on assault and criminal mischief charges.

Way back in 2006, during his first stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James carried the team to its first playoff appearance in almost a decade. A few short months later, eight enterprising individuals registered "BELIEVELAND" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Since then, the Ohio company (doing business out of Marietta, Georgia) has been making clothing, drink ware, and signage bearing the "Believeland" name.

Then this year comes the Believeland Beer Fest, a Cleveland festival (run by a Chicago entity), selling tickets and merchandise "including t-shirts, beer glasses, bottle openers, stickers, foam fingers, and beer doozies marked with BELIEVELAND BEER FEST."

Now the two out-of-towners are going to battle it out in an Ohio federal court for the keys to the Believeland kingdom.

WWE Beat Head Trauma Lawsuit Against Former Wrestlers

If your bosses know about certain risks to people in your profession, but they don't tell you about it, you'd probably feel compelled to sue them if and when you got injured. This can apply to anyone -- even professional wrestlers with World Wrestling Entertainment. Unfortunately for two such wrestlers, a judge in Connecticut has dismissed their claims that the WWE knew about the dangers of head trauma and failed to inform them.

Tonya Harding: What Crimes Did She Commit?

Oscar season is approaching, and this year's batch of nominees reaches back to the ghosts of sports crimes past. The Oscars announced last week that Margot Robbie and Allison Janney have been nominated for their respective roles in I, Tonya, a movie that revisits the career of Tonya Harding and the crime that shocked the ice-skating world twenty-four years ago.

It's a tale of rivalry, fame and a bizarrely conceived crime that's worth a trip down memory lane.

2017: The Year in Sports Law

It was a busy year, on and off the field. While players and coaches were vying for championships, lawyers and judges were working overtime behind the scenes, sorting out some enormous legal issues in the sports world.

Here are the major sports law stories from 2017:

The allegations against former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar have been horrifying. Just going by what has been revealed through court documents, Nassar's sexual abuse of athletes and other children in his care, some as young as six years old, continued for at least 20 years and could have involved over 200 victims.

Now, the institutions that employed Nassar for decades are trying to distance themselves from his actions. But a new lawsuit, filed by Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney, claims Michigan State and the U.S. Olympic team bought victims' silence with settlements, including a nondisclosure and nondisparagement agreements.

Doping allegations have plagued Russian athletes for years. Prior to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, the World Anti-Doping Agency concluded that Russia's Anti-Doping Agency, its Ministry of Sport, and Federal Security Service operated a "state-directed" doping system and Russian athletes were banned from the competition. Part of the evidence used for that ruling came from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

More allegations appear to have doomed Russia's participation in the next Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The International Olympic Committee has banned Russian athletes from participating in the Games, and also forbid government officials from attending.

Sports doping is a funny thing. First, some leagues or competitions seem to take doping more seriously than others, and punishments and other enforcement mechanisms can vary as well. Second, the list of banned substances can vary depending on the sport and the country, and in some cases there is little reason behind why some substances are banned and others are not. Third, some substances, perfectly legal under a nation's drug laws, may be banned, leaving athletes wondering which may garner a doping charge.

And then there's the matter of punishment: from the league or competition, from an anti-doping agency, and from law enforcement. But the British government, at least, put the kibosh on criminalizing doping in sports. The UK's minister of sport, Tracey Crouch, announced last week that those found violating the nation's anti-doping regulations would not face jail time.

It's safe to say that the tide of public perception of sports gambling has turned in the last ten or twenty years. With the rise of fantasy sports and March Madness, the image of placing bets on sporting events has changed from seedy mob-affiliated bookies to Karen from accounting throwing a few bucks into an office pool. And states, perhaps eyeing the money to be made from legalized sports betting, have begun pushing back on the federal restrictions on gambling.

California is just the latest, with Assembly Constitutional Amendment 18, a proposed bill that would change the state's constitution, paving the way for legalized sports gambling in the Golden State.

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a lawsuit, no escape from reality. Open your eyes, look up the Fan Duel and Draft Kings merger to see: the FTC has alleged that the merger violates the Clayton Act due to concerns that it will create a monopoly for daily fantasy sports.

The lawsuit, filed last month by the FTC, seeks to resolve the concern created by the merger by stopping it. Namely, since Fan Duel and Draft Kings are the main providers of paid fantasy sports gaming nationwide, when it comes to these contests or games, consumers don't really have any other choices. By merging together, consumers will have even less choice, and this will allow the sole company resulting from the merger to not have to be concerned about competition in the free market.