Sports Law, In the Courts and On the Fields

Autumn Greetings Law Buffs and Calves!

Sports Law is an interesting and varied topic of law. Federal, state, and local laws pertaining to sports cover issues such as: injury law, gender equity, disability, sports betting, sexual harassment, hazing, student-athlete privacy, and more.

Today we share 9 interesting articles, cases, and laws from the world of Sports Law.

“In sport, it is not always the assailant who is open to being sued – players, clubs, governing bodies and referees can also find themselves subject to legal action, which will be explored in the case law discussed.”

“Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law prohibiting gender discrimination in athletic programs at institutions that receive federal funds. [. . .] Title IX has been a controversial law involving amateur sports. Since it was enacted, the number and quality of female high school and college athletes have increased tremendously as a direct result of this federal law.”

In the case PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin (2001) the court considers the issue “Does the ADA require a professional sports association to make modifications for a participant with a disability?”

“Based on the change in federal law relating to ADA claims and the NCAA, the Court finds that Title III of the ADA does apply to the NCAA, because of the extreme amount of control the association exercises over student-athletes' access to the playing field of competitive collegiate sports.”

“States can legalize sports betting if they choose after the US Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on single-game wagering in 2018. To date, nearly two-thirds of US states approved some form of legal sports wagering, whether via mobile apps or in-person sportsbooks.”

“This bill amends the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 to extend the duty to report suspected child abuse, including sexual abuse, to adults who are authorized to interact with minor or amateur athletes at an amateur sports organization facility or at an event sanctioned by a national governing body (NGB) or member of an NGB. An NGB is an amateur sports organization that is recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee.”

“Hazing has been and most likely will continue to be embedded in the culture of college life. Administrators need to acknowledge that they can be held liable, as illustrated above, for acts of hazing occurring both on and off their campuses.” “[A] follow-up study that focused entirely on hazing in women’s NCAA Division I (DI) athletics [. . .] found that nearly 50% of current female DI athletes had been hazed during their college experience (McGlone, 2005).”

“Hazing has been around forever, and despite attempts to eradicate it from high schools, colleges, and even workplaces, nary a year goes by without a huge hazing story emerging. Although many instances end with slaps on the wrist and penalties that are softened after the media heat dies down, cases that end in serious injury or death understandably outrage parents and communities and land the perpetrators in criminal and/or civil court.”

“The world of sports is a particularly interesting arena for privacy issues. [. . .] This article discusses four different types of privacy cases that have arisen recently in the context of sports. [. . .] These topics suggest the fairly wide range of privacy issues indigenous to sports. The courts’ analyses of these issues suggest considerable uncertainty about whether privacy rights are altered in a sports context. Indeed, in the cases discussed below, one of the recurring themes is whether the sports context leads to a diminished expectation of privacy. The verdict of the courts is far from clear on this point."