As research on TBI’s have become more prevalent, it has created difficult discussion among fans about football’s long term effect on player health, the player’s assumption of risk, and consideration of their multi-million dollar contract or sponsorship(s).
Cities and states typically grant large subsidies for new venues that host professional sports teams. These subsidies come in the form of tax-exempt bonds, which are typically repaid over many years using levies, such as sales or hotel taxes. Investors who purchase these bonds do not pay taxes on their income, which allows for cheaper interest rates and lower costs on projects. Are these bonds mutually beneficial to both team owners, who advocate for the venues, and localities to justify granting bonds to build the venues?
Over the past decade, athletic apparel partnerships between intercollegiate athletic programs and athletic apparel providers have become increasingly lucrative. In 2015, several major National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) Division I programs entered into lengthy agreements with athletic apparel companies. In the Power Five autonomy era looming in NCAA athletics, much remains to be seen regarding player compensation, and the potential impact it may have on endorsement agreements between universities and apparel providers.
The World Series of Poker (“WSOP”) Main Event has concluded for 2015. The biggest winner of the WSOP will not be Joe McKeehen, but rather the United States Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). McKeehen was awarded a life altering $7,683,346 dollars. From paper and simple glance, it seems the poker tournament has helped make the finalists into millionaires. Each of the finalists navigated through a grueling field of 6,420 participants, which included professional poker players, recreational players, and celebrities, although, the IRS will ultimately win the most money per tax liabilities.
Big name artists are cracking down on fan-made art. Recently, Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, and Drake have expressed their disapproval of fan made art, which incorporates their song lyrics. Taylor Swift and Beyoncé sent cease and desist letters to other small product creators for using their name or lyrics. And, Drake posted a tweet expressing his disdain for Walgreens and Macy’s selling products with his lyric created acronym, “YOLO,” which stands for “you only live once.”
The United States has made undeniable strides in human rights and anti-discrimination efforts, but there is still much to work on. For forty-three years, Title IX has been enacted, but the glass ceiling for women remains alive and well within the sports industry. Female athletes competing at intercollegiate levels are receiving about 10 percent less in scholarship amounts than their male counterparts.
Many of the nation’s finest college athletes are preparing to participate in the upcoming 2016 summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Participating athletes should keep in mind that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) and its regulations will still affect them during their participation in the 2016 Olympics.
A painted face with symbols of war. A feathered headdress worn for sacred ceremonies. The steady beat of a leather drum. A brave giving a war cry. A garment worn to show affiliation. As thousands of fans visit their teams’ stadiums they witness vendors selling team gear, savory treats from carts, and protesters. Opposition to the honorary titles of the redskins, the Indians, the savages.
Since the domestic assault in 2009, Chris Brown has garnered much media scrutiny related to his every action. The media’s discussion about Brown has continually focused on publicly condemning him and creating a “culturally resonant villain” in the fight against domestic abuse. Many will disagree, but Brown’s case must be analyzed through a racial lens.
One hundred million people tune in every month to watch their favorite players go head to head online and on ESPN. Stadiums around the world sell out in minutes when an event comes to town. The superstars of this sport make seven figures for winning a single tournament (that’s not even including the lucrative sponsorship opportunities from companies itching to get in on the action). You may think I’m talking about baseball or basketball, but you’d be wrong. This sport brings in more viewers for a single tournament than the World Series and the NBA Finals combined. What I’m talking about is something called “e-sports” and if you don’t know about it yet, rest assured you will soon.
Anderson Silva woke up on July 6, 2013 as the greatest UFC champion of all time. As of this morning [March 10, 2015] he is perhaps the most controversial Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter of all time. This journey from the mixed martial arts (MMA) penthouse to doghouse can be attributed to four events: (1) Silva’s July 6, 2013 title loss to Chris Weidman in which he taunted Weidman before being knocked out; (2) Silva’s December 28, 2013 rematch loss to Weidman in which Silva brutally broke his leg; (3) Silva’s January 31, 2015 comeback win versus Nick Diaz; and (4) the subsequent release of two positive tests for performance enhancing drugs by Silva before the Diaz fight.
The University of Hawaii Manoa's athletic department has already had a rough 2015. At the end of January, Athletic Director Ben Jay received a bill of more than $500 from a Riverside, California hotel for the cleaning costs to remove marijuana smoke residue from the walls of rooms assigned to the University of Hawaii men's basketball team.
The Super Bowl is coming to Phoenix. The city is ablaze with the pump of tourist money and the adrenaline of hosting possibly the most important sports match of the entire year for Americans. However, I wonder how I can cash in on the action. I do not intend to scalp tickets, sell T-shirts, or sit on a street corner offering soda or water for a dollar to the crowds on the hot sidewalk. Nor will I do anything illegal or morally unsound. I intend on making money in a far easier and more legitimate way. As a student residing in five bedroom house, my immediate money making ideas stem from the amazing property I have in the city of Tempe--not far from the city of Glendale--where the actual Super Bowl will be played. The simplest mechanism I can imagine for making money is the one pioneered on the internet by an overwhelmingly young demographic, Airbnb.com.
For the last year, the spotlight has been on Hollywood’s unpaid interns demanding payment for their work. Although the issue has existed for years, a lawsuit brought by a pair of unpaid interns against Fox Searchlight sparked subsequent lawsuits against industry giants like NBCUniversal, Marvel, and Warner Music Group. This explosion of lawsuits has set the stage for public inquiry into why unpaid interns are denied so many legal protections, including legal recourse for sexual harassment. The case of Lihuan Wang has provided a close-up of this issue, inspiring recent changes in legislation that will hopefully edit sexual harassment from the script of Hollywood internships.
Another vertical integration lawsuit has risen to life. Frank Darabont, the writer-director-producer of the most watched show on all of television, The Walking Dead, is in court, facing off against American Movie Classics (AMC), the network that broadcasts the hit zombie apocalypse show. The Walking Dead lawsuit is the latest in a long line of “vertical integration” cases in Hollywood that arise when a TV show broadcaster also produces the show via an affiliated entity. The broadcaster pays a license fee to the production studio, which is then shared with talent. The license fees are supposed to be negotiated between broadcasters and producers to reflect the fair market value of a given series.
In this case, the women are the referees, and they just booked FIFA with a red card. For years, the soccer federation, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), has dealt with allegations of bribery, vote-rigging, and corruption. This October, FIFA faces a new allegation: gender discrimination. On the heels of the successful 2014 Men’s World Cup, FIFA began implementing plans for the tournament’s counterpart: the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Ontario, Canada. For example, this autumn, FIFA announced that in the 2015 tournament, female players will play on turf instead of grass.
Griggs, Behind the Furor Over #Gamergate, CNN.com, , Oct. 19, 2014). The controversy and the hastag #gamergate started when game designer Zoe Quinn’s ex-boyfriend posted an article accusing her of sleeping with a Kotaku.com journalist for positive reviews. This was quickly picked up by many gamers who felt gaming critics lacked integrity either being bought off by publishers or simply rating games based off their own preferences. However, like many things on the internet, it wasn’t long before the movement was overtaken by trolls lashing out at women in the gaming industry in general. Specifically, they targeted women, like Anita Sarkeesian, who spoke out against the current default portrayal of women in videogames as stereotypes. The attacks have included everything from defamation to death threats. Brianna Wu, a female game developer, was forced to leave her home after receiving death threats that included her home address. (Beth Teitell & Callum Borchers, GamerGate anger at women all too real for gamemaker, BostonGlobe.com, Nov. 1, 2014). The Gamergate controversy has become synonymous with arguments about women’s place in videogames.
The Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones breathed a collective sigh of relief this past week when a state judge ruled that a lawsuit brought against Jones by Jana Weckerly, a former stripper, was barred by the statute of limitations. Ms. Weckerly brought the suit against Jones in September, alleging that Jones had sexually assaulted her in 2009 and seeking over $1M in damages. She later made an amendment claiming that Jones and his attorneys had paid her over the past four years for her to keep her silence. In addition to arguing that the statute of limitations barred the suit, counsel for Jones and the Cowboys denied Ms. Weckerly’s allegations and described the suit as an attempt to extort Jones. Counsel also moved for sanctions against Ms. Weckerly for filing what they described as a “frivolous pleading for the purpose of harassment.” Sexual misconduct charges are not uncommon in professional sports. The dismissal of the Jerry Jones lawsuit conjures memories of similar suits against Kobe Bryant, Ben Roethlisberger, and more recently, Colin Kaepernick. Charges against Bryant, Roethlisberger, and Kaepernick were ultimately dropped, but the accusations left dark shadows on otherwise illustrious careers.
This past August, the Internet erupted when Anita Sarkeesian, a media critic, was threatened with mutilation, rape, and other physical harm in response to her video web series criticizing the sexist implications of the way in which women are portrayed in video games. See Julie Bort, After Exposing Sexism in the Video Game Industry, This Woman Received Rape Threats on Twitter, Businessinsider.com, Aug. 27, 2014. Similarly, in 2013 Carolyn Petit, a video game reviewer for GameSpot, came under attack after giving Grand Theft Auto V a "superb" score of 9/10. Despite the high score, Petit wrote, “GTA V has little room for women except to portray them as strippers, prostitutes, long-suffering wives, humorless girlfriends and goofy, new-age feminists we’re meant to laugh at.” Carolyn Petit, Grand Theft Auto V Review, Gamespot.com, Sept. 17, 2013. Gamers circulated a petition asking for her to be fired for her criticism. Sadly, it is not uncommon for critics to be attacked in real life in response to criticizing women’s portrayals in video games and suggesting those portrayals may have a negative effect on male game players.
Sports betting in the United States has become a divisive subject in recent years, partially due to the incredible revenue potential it carries. Online sports betting in the U.S. nearly tripled from 2001 to 2005, resulting in revenues upwards of $4.2 billion. The federal government has effectively outlawed sports gambling through the creation of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), with the only exception being for states that already had legalized gambling when PASPA was enacted (Delaware, Nevada, Montana, and Oregon). Certain states not within the exception are eager to take advantage of this cash cow to help balance their budgets.
All of us sports lovers have seen the movies with college recruitment themes in the storyline. These movies highlight the drama, excitement, and limits imposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) surrounding the recruitment of players to colleges and universities. (For a list of recruitment-themed movies, visit Jon Talty, The 10 Best sports movies with recruiting story lines, AL.com, July 31, 2014.) Some of the most memorable movies are Necessary Roughness (1991) and Blue Chips (1994). In Blue Chips, despite the coach’s distaste for illegal recruitment, he contacts a “friend of the program” who buys one player a Lexus, another receives $30,000.00 in a gym bag, and yet another player’s mother gets a new home and a job. Similarly, in Necessary Roughness the smaller school gets stuck with the bottom-of-the-barrel players and the larger school receives nice uniforms, a plush bus, and personal tutors. Recently, this excitement and drama came to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California with the decision on Edward O’Bannon, et al., v. National Collegiate Athletic Association; Electronic Arts Inc.; and Collegiate Licensing Company.
With the proliferation of music on massively popular file-sharing websites such as YouTube and Soundcloud, musical artists face legitimate concerns in terms of protecting their copyrighted works. It is no secret that copyright holders in the music industry have aggressively engaged in an extended online anti-piracy campaign. While this campaign originally targeted file-sharing software distributors, most famously, Napster, it has continued to evolve with the technologies available. Now, more than ever, individuals may be at increased risk of litigation for infringing activity, and they might not even be aware their activity is illegal.