Players’ Unions v. Jock Taxes: An Inside Look at This Waging Legal Battle

Last week, we reported that the NHL Players’ Association, MLB Players’ Association, and NFL Players’ Association sued the city of Pittsburgh for charging a fee on nonresident professional athletes that play within the city. These fees, often referred to as jock taxes, have come under fire over the past few years. The players’ associations are not challenging the legality of jock taxes in general. It is well established that states and municipalities have the right to tax income earned by athletes in their jurisdiction.…
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NFL, MLB, and NHL Players’ Associations Sue Pittsburgh Over “Unconstitutional” Athletes Fee

The city of Pittsburgh is being challenged for a fee it is charging  nonresident professional athletes who play for Pittsburgh teams. The NHL Players’ Association, MLB Players’ Association, and NFL Players’ Association, along with baseball player Jeff Francoeur and hockey players Kyle Palmieri and Scott Wilson, have sued the city of Pittsburgh. The city currently imposes a three percent general revenue income fee on professional athletes who reside out of state. Athletes who live in the city, however, pay only a one percent fee. Pittsburgh…
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TCPA Lawsuit Against Tampa Bay Lightning Reaches Class Settlement

A settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit against the Tampa Bay Lightning, in which a fan claimed that the NHL team violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by flooding him with unwanted text messages. Plaintiff Brian Hanley claimed that the team violated the TCPA by using a bait-and-switch tactic. Hanley was under the impression that he had entered a ticket contest for a future Lightning game by texting a short code number. Instead, he had inadvertently signed up for an advertising…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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The Status of Women’s Professional Hockey: Where Are We Now?

The Canadian Women Hockey League’s (CWHL) Calgary Inferno and Canadiennes de Montreal faced off in the Clarkson Cup championship game on March 24, 2019. A record 175,000 viewers tuned in for the game, which was broadcast across the United States through an agreement with the NHL Network. The Calgary Inferno defeated the Canadiennes de Montreal with a final score of 5-2. Following the championship and closing out its twelfth season, the league announced on March 31, 2019 that it would cease to exist as of…
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NHL and NHLPA Instill Hope for Peaceful CBA Talks

On Friday, January 25, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman held a press conference surrounding the NHL All-Star Game and implored his desire for peaceful collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations. Given the multitude of lockouts over negotiations in the past, his comments have instilled cautious optimism throughout the fandom of the league. Pursuant to the current CBA in effect, the league and players alike have the option to prematurely terminate the agreement as of September 15, 2020, regardless of the technical end date of 2022. With these…
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Michael Peluso Sues New Jersey Devils

On January 3, 2019, former New Jersey Devils’ enforcer, Michael Peluso, sued the New Jersey Devils and various team officials, claiming that the team concealed his risk of long-term neurological problems. According to Peluso, the Devils hid the full extent of a head injury that he suffered, on December 18, 1993, in a fight with Tony Twist, a member of the Quebec Nordiques. During the fight, Peluso allegedly suffered a concussion. According to the complaint, the Devils “intentionally, deliberately, fraudulently, and with callous disregard…
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Former NFL Players Face Uphill Battle in Painkillers Appeal

On December 19, 2018, a lawyer representing six former NFL players had difficulties persuading a panel of Ninth Circuit judges to revive a lawsuit claiming that the NFL illegally dispensed painkillers and pushed athletes to return to the field, ending their careers early. The lead plaintiff, Etopia Evans, widow of the late Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens player Charles “Chuck” Evans, filed her federal class action lawsuit back in May 2015. Back in 2008, Chuck Evans died a jail cell, two days after being imprisoned…
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