Joseph M. Hanna

Joseph M. Hanna is the founder and chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Sports and Entertainment Practice Group and editor of the Sports and Entertainment Law Insider blog. With a national practice and industry-wide reputation for leadership, Joe is consistently ranked among the top 10 attorneys based in Western New York in Business First’s annual Legal Elite, and in 2015, Joe was the youngest honoree ever to be named Lawyer of the Year in the Bar Association of Erie County’s 130-year history. He was named a Rising Star by Law360 in 2014 and is also a member of the Mediator Panel for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York.

All articles by Joseph M. Hanna

 

Federal Judge Dismisses Two Ex-NHL Players’ Concussion Lawsuits

A Minnesota federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the NHL by two former players, finding that the court lacks jurisdiction over the suit. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson dismissed two lawsuits, filed by Andre Deveaux and Todd Harvey, without prejudice. Judge Nelson reasoned that the players lacked a connection to Minnesota for jurisdiction. Deveaux and Harvey never played for a Minnesota hockey team, nor did they present enough evidence linking them to the state. As we previously reported, Judge Nelson oversaw a…  

Eagles Soar Away from Liability, Appeals Court Reverses $700K Judgment

On October 11, 2019, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania reversed the trial court’s $700,000 award to Dallas Cowboys fan Patrick Pearson. Pearson, who was assaulted at Lincoln Financial Field, alleged that the Philadelphia Eagles were negligent in providing security during the December 14, 2014 matchup between the Eagles and Cowboys. The Superior Court ruled that the Eagles could not have foreseen or anticipated that a fight would occur in a bathroom at the stadium. At the time of the alleged fight admitted at trial, Pearson…  

WWE Counters Wrestlers’ Appeal in Concussion Lawsuit

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and its CEO, Vince McMahon, have fought back against 67 retired wrestlers who appealed the dismissal of their concussion lawsuit. Beginning in 2014, these former wrestlers filed lawsuits against WWE, arguing that the organization failed to protect their health, which resulted in concussions, CTE, and other brain injuries. In September 2018, the Connecticut District Court dismissed the lawsuit as many of the plaintiffs stopped wrestling before WWE was aware of the risks of head trauma. The attorney for the plaintiffs,…  

Phillie Phanatic Creators Fire Back with New Filing

Wade Harrison and Bonnie Erickson, credited with designing the Philadelphia Phillies’ mascot, the Phanatic, have filed a reply to a lawsuit alleging that the creators were threatening the baseball club with pulling the team’s rights to use the mascot. The creators have described the lawsuit by the Phillies as a “weapon.” At issue is whether the creators of the Phanatic can use the Copyright Act’s termination right – a rule made to allow authors to regain control over works they created, but signed away. The…  

Feds Discover NCAA Game Rigging Attempt, Mafia Connected

On October 3, 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York unsealed a series of indictments against alleged crime family La Cosa Nostra (the Colombo Family). Among those arrested were Benjamin Bifalco, an associate of the Colombo Family, and Joseph Amato Jr., the son of an alleged Colombo Family captain Joseph Amato. Bifalco was charged with violating 18 U.S.C. Section 224(a), which makes it unlawful to influence a sporting contest “in any way, by bribery. . . .” Per the…  

St. Louis Stadium Authority Tells Supreme Court: Don’t Further Delay Rams Move Suit

The St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority argued to the U.S. Supreme Court that there is no reason for the court to halt its lawsuit against the Los Angeles Rams and owner Stan Kroenke. Last week, the Rams and Kroenke asked Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch to halt the case while they petition the Supreme Court to intervene. While the St. Louis Authority stated that the Rams and Kroenke may continue to pursue their supreme court petition, they argued that the court…  

One Tweet Threatens 30 Years of NBA Expansion into China

The controversy began on October 6, 2019, after Daryl Morey, the general manager of the NBA’s Houston Rockets, tweeted about the ongoing pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, China. Since the 1980s, the NBA has spent millions of dollars investing in Asian markets, including China, hoping to grow the game of basketball. For example, the NBA has helped build basketball courts, given broadcasting rights for free, and played preseason games in China and Japan. However, Morey’s tweet threatens years of progress and what has otherwise…  

Washington D.C. Arena Will Be America’s First Sports Venue with Sportsbook

Capital One Arena, the home of the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals, is about to become the first major sports venue in the United States to have a sportsbook. Monumental Sports & Entertainment, owner of the teams and the arena, announced a partnership with sports betting operator William Hill US. The sportsbook will span multiple floors and be accessible to both non-ticketholders and ticketholders for certain events. Expected to open in 2020, the sportsbook will be open year-round and is accessible to the public from…  

FanDuel Owner to Become Largest Gambling Company in $6 Billion Deal, Targets U.S. Sports Betting Market

Flutter Entertainment PLC, the owner of Paddy Power and FanDuel, announced a $6 billion deal to purchase The Stars Group Inc. (TSG) and become the world’s largest online gambling company. Flutter, an Irish gambling conglomerate, owns gambling websites Paddy Power and Betfair, in addition to sports betting websites FanDuel, Sportsbet, and TVG. Meanwhile, Canadian company TSG owns the world’s largest poker website, PokerStars, as well as BetStars and Full Tilt Poker. The combined value of the companies is approximately $12 billion. Further, the combined…  

Ex-Athlete, Now Congressman, Ready to Suit Up Against the NCAA

On September 30, 2019, it was reported that California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law the Fair Pay to Play Act. Previously, we have reported that the bill will allow student-athletes at the 58 member schools within California to receive compensation for the use of their name, image, and likeness. Within days of  Newsom signing California’s Fair Pay to Play Act, U.S. Congressman Anthony Gonzalez, of Ohio, announced his intention to propose a federal bill to give student-athletes the opportunity to benefit from the use…  

Peloton Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Expanded to $300 Million, Includes Over 2,000 Songs

A refreshed complaint against cycling giant, Peloton, by over 30 music publishers was approved by a federal judge, approximately doubling the number of songs and damages claimed. As we reported earlier, 30 music publishers filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Peloton in March. The company is known for its high-end stationary bicycles that allow users to stream online spinning classes. The lawsuit alleges that these classes used copyrighted music and that Peloton failed to obtain proper synchronization licenses, which are fees paid to music…  

Pennsylvania and Florida Latest to Introduce Bills to Pay Student-Athletes

The bandwagon keeps rolling — Florida and Pennsylvania have become the latest states to introduce legislation that would allow student-athletes to earn compensation through endorsements and sponsorships. Like the recent bill signed into law in California, which allows student-athletes to receive compensation for the school’s use of their name, image, and likeness, state legislators in Florida and Pennsylvania introduced their own versions of the Fair Pay to Play Act. On September 30, 2019, Florida state Rep. Kionne McGhee introduced House Bill 251–a bill that would …  

NFL Officially Partners With DraftKings for Daily Fantasy

On September 26, 2019, the NFL announced that it has selected DraftKings to be its first official daily fantasy partner. Notably, this partnership deal does not include sports betting. In a joint statement, the companies stated that their partnership includes “exclusive sponsorship of the daily fantasy sports category with access to NFL branding and more.” NFL Chief Revenue Officer Renie Anderson said, “[d]aily fantasy football has been a tremendous vehicle for fans of all types to deepen their engagement with the NFL.” Over 11…  

California First State to Pay Student-Athletes

On September 30, 2019, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act. Groundbreaking legislation and the first of its kind, this act will allow California student-athletes to earn compensation through endorsements or sponsorships. As we have continued to report, the legislation – now law – comes on the heels of the heated debate across the country on whether student-athletes should be compensated for their services. California is now the first state in the country to allow student-athletes at the 58 member…  

Jets Player Sues NFL, Alleging ADA Violation Over Helmet Visor

New York Jets safety Rontez Miles filed a lawsuit against the NFL, claiming that a referee violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when he forced Miles to remove a helmet visor. Miles said that the visor was necessary to protect his eyes from sun glare. He had previously collided with another player and was injured when his helmet did not include the visor. The incident took place on August 19, 2017, during a preseason game against the Detroit Lions. According to his complaint, a…  

New England Patriots Player Asks Judge to Throw Out ‘Trash Talk’ Lawsuit

New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung has asked a federal judge to dismiss a defamation lawsuit by a former Los Angeles Rams employee that involves the posting of a text message on social media. As we reported earlier, former Rams ticket executive Matthew Hogan sued Chung and Matthew Weymouth, a friend of Chung’s who ran his social media pages. The lawsuit is over text messages that Chung posted to his social media. The post consisted of an exchange between Hogan and Weymouth where Hogan…  

All in the Family: Father of NCAA Corruption Convict Allegedly Fired for Soliciting $25,000 from Student-Athlete

Cleveland State University (CSU) has fired Lou Dawkins, the father of aspiring sports agent and convicted NCAA bribery conspirator Christian Dawkins, from his assistant basketball coach position for soliciting $25,000 from a student-athlete. As we previously reported, Christian Dawkins and Adidas consultant, Merl Code, were convicted by a federal jury in October 2018 on fraud charges. Then, in May 2019, Dawkins and Code were convicted by another federal jury on conspiracy to bribe assistant college basketball coaches. Dawkins is currently arguing for leniency in…  

$29.5 Million Sports Betting Scheme Unraveled by SEC

On August 30, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court of Nevada against John Thomas, 74, and Thomas Becker, 72. The SEC alleges Thomas and Becker ran a fraudulent $29.5 million sports betting investment scheme. The two men raised the funds from 600 investors across 40 states by “offering investors pooled investment contracts whereby [the investors] obtain the opportunity to share in the purported profits” from Thomas’ and Becker’s “proprietary sports betting system.” Thomas and Becker communicated…  

New York Introduces Bill Entitling College Athletes to Ticket Sale Proceeds

New York Sen. Kevin S. Parker (D-Brooklyn) recently introduced a bill that would allow college athletes to become eligible to receive compensation. The bill would allow college athletes to sign endorsements, but was recently amended to allow athletes to also enjoy a 15 percent cut of the income generated from ticket sales. This change comes after reports revealed Parker planned to add language that required schools to share 15 percent of all athletics revenue with athletes. “At the conclusion of each school year, each college…  

Scandal, Lawsuit, Settlement: Louisville, Pitino Reach an Accord

The University of Louisville Athletic Association (ULAA) and ex-coach, Rick Pitino, reached a settlement on September 18, 2019, following a two-year legal battle. Previously, we reported that Pitino was terminated following the NCAA’s investigation into alleged inappropriate recruitment practices by the Louisville men’s basketball team. As a result of the investigation, the NCAA forced the University of Louisville to vacate many of its wins, including the school’s 2013 national championship. Following the NCAA’s actions, the university terminated Pitino’s employment in October 2017. In November 2017,…  

The Battle for Student-Athlete Pay Rages: New York Joins the Movement

California’s state legislature passed The Fair Pay for Play Act (SB-206), which is designed to allow student-athletes to earn compensation through the use of their name, image, and likeness. Previously, we reported that two South Carolina state lawmakers intend to introduce a similar bill. On September 23, 2019, the Empire State joined the movement after New York State Sen. Kevin S. Parker introduced a bill similar in language to the bill California recently passed. Parker believes this is about equity. He understands that student-athletes are…  

Catching Fire: South Carolina Lawmakers to Follow California’s Pay-to-Play Bill

The passage of California’s Fair Pay to Play Act (SB-206) has sparked a movement among state legislatures on the east coast. South Carolina intends to join the fray. South Carolina State Senator Marlon Kimpson says that he and South Carolina State Representative Justin Bamberg plan to introduce a bill that will permit college athletes to make money from the use of their names, images, and likeness. In addition to collegiate athletes earning a $5,000/year stipend, the bill will allow them the opportunity to earn money…  

A Widow’s Fight Against the NHL Faces Procedural Hurdle

Often, when lawsuits involve sports-related brain and head injuries (CTE), it’s easy to assume that the NFL is involved. However, concussion-related lawsuits are not solely confined to professional football. In 2018, the NHL was engulfed in concussion litigation. Kelli Ewen, the widow of former NHL player, Todd Ewen, filed a lawsuit against the NHL in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. In her complaint, Ewen alleges that the NHL promotes a culture of “violence and concealment of long-term brain injuries associated…  

California Prepared to Battle the NCAA Over Pay-to-Play

The California Senate unanimously voted to pass the California Assembly’s version of the Fair Pay to Play Act (SB-206) on September 11, 2019. The bill will allow student-athletes to earn compensation through endorsements or sponsorships. If signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the bill would take effect January 1, 2023. If the governor does nothing, or he does not veto the bill, then the bill becomes law. Paying student-athletes for use of their name, image, and likeness contradicts current NCAA rules and regulations regarding student-athlete…  

LeBron’s “Taco Tuesday” Trademark Blocked

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has rejected LeBron James’ application to trademark the phrase Taco Tuesday. Having become a popular part of American food culture, Taco Tuesday is a common theme found at restaurants across the country. Since the NBA offseason began, James recorded and posted videos celebrating Taco Tuesday. Some videos were with his family at the dinner table and other videos were by himself. The USPTO explained its decision, stating that “Taco Tuesday” is a “commonplace term, message, or expression…  

Collision Course: California’s Pay-to-Play Bill Takes Aim at NCAA

On September 9, 2019, the California State Assembly voted 66-0 to pass an amended version of the Fair Pay to Play Act. The bill now moves back to the state senate for a vote, which is likely to pass, putting the state on a collision course with the NCAA over its rules prohibiting student-athletes from being compensated for use of their name, image and likeness. Previously, we reported that the California State Senate voted to pass the Fair Pay to Play Act (SB- 206) to…  

Key Witness in NCAA Corruption Trial Avoids Prison Time

Munish Sood, a crucial witness in the NCAA corruption cases, will avoid both prison time and probation, a federal judge ruled. Sood, a New Jersey financial adviser, admitted to paying bribes to a variety of people involved in college athletics. Included are two former assistant coaches: Lamont Evans, of the University of South Carolina, and Emanuel “Book” Richardson, of the University of Arizona, who each pled guilty and faced three months of prison time. Government counsel requested leniency at Sood’s hearing, with attorney Noah…  

Amended California Student-Athlete Bill Nabs Endorsement of LeBron James

A recent bill introduced to give student-athletes the right to earn compensation has garnered star support. The bill, SB-206, was recently endorsed by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. The superstar took to Twitter to voice his support for the recently amended bill that would allow students to receive compensation for the use of their names, images, and likenesses. “Everyone is [sic] California – call your politicians and tell them to support SB 206! This law is a GAME CHANGER. College athletes can responsibly…  

“Nola No Call” Suit Sacked, Dismissed Before the End Zone

A lawsuit alleging an improper call by an NFL referee has been dismissed. The suit was filed by attorney Antonio Le Mon and three others after the NFC Championship playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams. In the game, the referees failed to make a call on a pass interference against the Rams; had the call been made, the Saints would have been in a better position to win the game. The NFL later admitted that the circumstances warranted a pass interference call. The…  

Cubs ADA Lawsuit Narrowed but Can Continue, Judge Rules

A lawsuit against the Chicago Cubs for failing to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will be allowed to continue, a federal judge ruled.  In December 2017, David Cerda filed a lawsuit alleging that the Cubs violated the ADA by failing to provide enough seating for wheelchair users at Wrigley Field. Cerda, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and needs a wheelchair for mobility, claimed that the ADA requires the Cubs to offer 217 accessible seats and that the Cubs only offered 42…  

Access Denied: NCAA Bribery and Corruption Scandal

On September 3, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan issued a ruling denying the motions by the NCAA and Yahoo Sports parent company, Oath, Inc., to intervene in the pay-for-play NCAA scandal case for the limited purpose of obtaining access to evidence that was not admitted at trial. As we have previously reported, in October 2018, former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager Christopher Dawkins, and consultant Merl Code were convicted of fraud that arose out of a college basketball pay-for-play scandal.…  

California NCAA Athletes Inch Closer to Earning Compensation

As previously reported, a California bill that would allow student-athletes to be paid for their likenesses has cleared yet another legal hurdle. The closely followed bill would allow college athletes to enjoy the capital gained from their name, images, and likeness. Under current NCAA rules, student-athletes are not permitted to accept payment for, or permit, “the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend, or promote” the commercial sale of goods, or use their likeness to promote a service or product.…  

NFHS Argues Paying Student-Athletes Will Erode School Spirit at All Levels

On August 23, 2019, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) asked the Ninth Circuit to grant leave and allow it to file an amicus curiae brief (non-party brief) in the Alston v. NCAA case. As we have previously reported, this case was brought by a class of college athletes in the wake of the O’Bannon decision, where a court held that NCAA rules prohibiting college athletes’ abilities to profit from their likenesses were anti-competitive. O’Bannon held that compensation for college…  

Ex-Penn State Doctor Alleges Football Coach Pressured Him to Clear Injured Players

A former Penn State football team doctor filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania state court on August 23, 2019,  alleging that the school’s football coach, James Franklin, pressured the doctor into clearing injured players and allowing them to return to the field. Allegedly, Dr. Scott A. Lynch reported Coach Franklin’s actions to various Penn State department heads. It was after he reported those actions, though, that Dr. Lynch was removed from two positions in Penn State’s athletic department in March 2019. In his lawsuit, Lynch is…  

Junior College Sued Over Controversial “Oklahoma Drill”

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on August 20, 2019, that Lackawanna Junior College had assumed a duty to care for the well-being of two of the school’s football players, Augustus Feleccia and Justin Resch. On March 29, 2010, Feleccia and Resch were injured while participating in an Oklahoma Drill during the team’s football practice. An Oklahoma Drill has several variations, but it commonly involves two players lined up three yards opposite one another. At the sound of the whistle, the players run at one…  

Former NFL Player Moves to Stay Third Circuit Appeal

On August 2, 2019, Amon Gordon, a 37-year-old former NFL defensive end, asked the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to stay his appeal to the Third Circuit in order to give himself a chance to file a Rule 60 Motion against Judge Anita B. Brody’s August 2019 ruling. As we have previously reported, Gordon moved to appeal to the Third Circuit in his legal battle against the NFL for not alerting its players of the long-term medical impact of concussions.…  

Mr. T Sues Popular Marijuana Website

On August 22, 2019, Laurence Tureaud, most commonly known as Mr. T, sued Leafly, a digital cannabis company. In his lawsuit, Mr. T claimed that Leafly, the largest cannabis website in the world for people in legal cannabis markets, infringed on his trademark rights by abbreviating one of their product names, called Mr. Tusk, to “Mrt.” Mr. T became famous in the 1980s for his roles in the “The A-Team” and “Rocky III.” According to Mr. T, the abbreviation of Mr. Tusk to “Mrt”…  

Ninth Circuit Rejects Lamar Dawson’s Bid to Revive Lawsuit

On August 12, 2019, a panel of Ninth Circuit judges rejected Lamar Dawson’s bid to revive a proposed class action lawsuit, which claimed that the NCAA and Pac-12 Conference improperly denied student-athletes minimum wage and overtime. In their ruling, the panel noted that the Pac-12 and NCAA did not provide Dawson, a former University of Southern California linebacker, with a scholarship or have the power to hire or fire him and, thus, they were not his employer, nor was he their employee. According to Chief…  

Barclays Center and Brooklyn Nets Have New Owner

On August 16, 2019, it was announced that Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov agreed to sell the Barclays Center and his controlling stake in the Brooklyn Nets to Joe Tsai, co-founder and Executive Vice Chairman of the Alibaba Group. The deal was reportedly worth $3.5 billion. It was long anticipated that Tsai, one of the world’s 150 richest people, would purchase the Nets as he already owned 49 percent of the franchise. The change in ownership continues what has been an already transformational summer for the Nets. The…  

NFL Running Backs Could Break from Players’ Union

On August 9, 2019, a group called the International Brotherhood of Professional Running Backs (IBPRB) filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) asking that NFL running backs be severed from the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and formed into a new union. According to the IBPRB, NFL running backs “have unique career structures; and the current one-size fits all [approach to players contracts] is inappropriate.” The petition looms over the ongoing talks between the NFLPA and the NFL over a new collective bargaining…  

The Historical Significance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2001 decision in PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin

On January 17, 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments for PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin. Historically, the court has often strayed from sports-related disputes, although there are some landmark cases which were exceptions and shaped the national landscape of sports. However, the dispute in Martin spanned greatly beyond a mere sports-related dispute. The issue was simple: does using a golf cart fundamentally alter a tournament? However, the larger legal question was whether the American Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) supersedes the rules of…  

NCAA $75 Million Settlement Gets Final Approval with $14 Million in Fees

On August 12, 2019, U.S. District Judge John Lee granted final approval to a $75 million settlement and awarded more than $14 million in attorney fees. As we have continued to report, the suit began in 2011 when former Eastern Illinois football player, Adrian Arrington, and three others, sued the NCAA because they suffered from seizures, which were a byproduct of repeated head trauma. Of the $75 million settlement initially approved by Judge Lee in July 2017, $70 million of the settlement will go…  

The “Greek Freak” Freaks over Trademark Infringement

Giannis Antetokounmpo, a member of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks, recently filed a lawsuit against Viral Style LLC, a clothing company. According to Antetokounmpo, Viral used the trademarks “Greek Freak” and “Greek Fr34K” without Antetokounmpo’s permission. Antetokounmpo earned the nickname “Greek Freak” and later trademarked the name and an accompanying image related to his nationality, skill, and household notoriety. The nearly seven-foot-tall Bucks star claims Viral infringed on and counterfeited his trademarks by “designing, selling and distributing various products, including tees, hoodies and T-shirts, under the…  

Judge Recuses Himself from TCPA Lawsuit Against Tampa Bay Rays

After consulting with an ethics opinion, Florida U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony E. Porcelli recused himself from a proposed class action lawsuit, which accuses the MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by sending spam text messages. According to the order, Judge Porcelli stated that he “. . . find[s] it appropriate to recuse myself from these proceedings, as my impartiality might be reasonably questioned.” Specifically, Judge Porcelli admittedly communicated with several members of the Rays organization when he was…  

Former NFL Defensive End Appeals to Third Circuit in Concussion Lawsuit

Amon Gordon, a 37-year-old former NFL defensive end, appealed to the Third Circuit in his legal battle against the NFL for not alerting its players of the long-term medical impact of concussions. Specifically, Gordon played eight seasons in the NFL and is fighting for his entitlement to a 2015 uncapped settlement of roughly 20,000 players to awards of up to $5 million, depending on the age and severity of their football-related injuries, according to Law360. There is a belief among the legal community that…  

Raiders Prevail in Lawsuit Against City of Oakland

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero granted the Oakland Raiders, the NFL, and 31 other NFL teams their motion to dismiss a lawsuit from the City of Oakland on Thursday. In a 30-page order, Judge Spero found that a city cannot recover damages based on tax revenue from the “broad scope of economic activity associated with the presence of a professional football team.” The Raiders previously claimed the City of Oakland could “lose significant tax and other income” associated with the Raiders’ pending move…  

Detroit Pistons and NBA Settle Lawsuit Over Player’s Death

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Detroit Pistons organization have agreed to an undisclosed settlement with Gene Upshaw, the mother of Zeke Upshaw, after her son suffered a heart attack on the court during a G-League basketball game with the Pistons’ affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive. He died days later at a local hospital. Upshaw subsequently filed a lawsuit on behalf of her son against the Detroit Pistons organization, the NBA, DeltaPlex Arena, and the co-owner of the Drive, SSJ Group LLC. The lawsuit…  

“NBA Last 90” Foreshadows the Potentially Lucrative Intersection of eSports and Sports Betting

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has, in many ways, led the way in navigating both the legal logistics of legalized sports betting and the growing industry of eSports, a recently popular form of competition using video games. The recent release of the first-ever NBA virtual sports betting game, NBA Last 90, conceivably foreshadows the future of how two of the most potentially lucrative sports-related industries could intertwine in a meaningful and profitable manner. Since the 2018 Supreme Court decision of Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic  

ADA Lawsuits Regarding Sightlines Could Lead to Expensive MLB Stadium Renovations

Major League Baseball (MLB) organizations and their stadiums are facing expensive potential renovations to adhere to The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)  guidelines following numerous lawsuits. This includes a lawsuit filed on behalf of four disabled Seattle Mariners fans in 2018 along with separate lawsuits against the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs. The ADA requires qualified employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities, and imposes accessibility requirements on public accommodations. The lawsuits allege that some MLB stadiums fail to comply…  

The Collective Bargaining Agreement: The Financial and Logistical Guide to the Modern NBA

National Basketball Association (NBA) fans have been glued to their phones lately wondering which players will sign where. The start of the NBA free agency period has become somewhat of a sports holiday when players announce their new (or same) destinations. Teams often resort to buying billboards, hiring celebrities, and even offering players free food for life to convince these free agents to sign with them. The contract and monetary amounts for players can be staggering. Players are accumulating generational wealth and are constantly…