Posts in Fantasy
2019 Sports Law Hot Topics to Watch

The annual January tradition I know y’all look forward to is here - my predictions on what will be the hottest of the sports law hot topics! I settled on selecting six topics this year, and I must say, it was wonderfully hard to narrow down the list because there is a lot of meat we will get to digest over the next 12 months. (Disclaimer: I think #1 will be the hottest of the hot, but that may be my bias talking since that is one of my main wheelhouses!)

That said, I would also like to remind those of you who may be newly acquainted with the concept of “sports law” that, in all honesty, there is technically no such thing as “sports law,” per se. Rather, what a handful of attorneys and I do is specialize in understanding and zealously advocate to resolve diverse legal issues that take place within the sports industry because the law often treats sports in a special way relative to pretty much every other industry out there.

Keep reading for a brief descriptions of each topic’s current status, why I am including it on this list, and a few Twitter handles to follow for the latest news and analysis throughout the year:

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Reflecting on My "2017 Sports Law Hot Topics To Watch" Predictions

If Deflategate's courtroom battles placed "sports law" into mainstream conversation in 2015-2016, then 2017 gave sports law an entire fleet of those Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tubemen [Note: If you do not understand the reference, I encourage you to click the link.] As we step - no, run - into a new year embracing all the change that is more likely than not going to occur, I would like to put the past twelve months into perspective and reflect on what I predicted would be the sports law hot topics to watch in 2017, what happened and what did not, and see whether the topics attained some means of closure. All in all, I can proudly say that my umbrella picture that 2017 would be a continuation of prevalent sports law trends was pretty accurate.

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2017 Sports Law Hot Topics To Watch

In retrospect, 2016 was not half bad. Well, it was more like 60-65% bad, but the year undoubtedly had its moments, good and bad!

I believe in many ways that 2017 will be a continuation of things in one direction or another rather than a birth of entirely new topics, especially in the sports law realm. Part of the reason I believe this is because of the incoming US President's opinions and involvement in certain areas. Another part is due to the basic timeline of league and player contracts in the "Big Four" (NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB) so that instead of big changes in the relationship statuses taking place, upcoming practices acting upon and interpreting those contracts will create news and continue to add to existing sentiment. Without further ado, here are six hot topics we should keep an eye out for throughout 2017.

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Ladies & Gentlemen, May I Present To You The Official Bachelor Fantasy League... Sweepstakes?

Well, it's about damn time.

ABC is teaming up with Disney family member ESPN to launch a "fantasy league" platform for the upcoming season of ABC's The Bachelor. Fans who genuinely love the show and "fans" who genuinely love to mock the show have done personal games for years ranging from simple tourney brackets to full-fledged fantasy leagues. This is very different, though. The season premiere is on January 2, but players have until January 16 to make their "top 4" picks, i.e., which four girls will make it to the Hometown dates and who will get the Final Rose in the finale. Furthermore, players can participate in weekly games that offer additional opportunities for points and prizes. Here are a few brief notes y'all might be interested in reading:

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Is Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Michigan?

The straight up answer: Technically, no, but hold up (x10) like Kanye says to do.

Next time you watch or listen to any television or radio football broadcast, count how many advertisements you see or hear from daily fantasy sports (DFS) companies like DraftKings or FanDuel. Think about how many people choose to participate in those games each day. Do you think they question the legality of those games, nationwide or specifically in your state of residence? I doubt it. Do you think the DraftKings and FanDuels of the world would subject themselves to business in a state where DFS is illegal? That is easily debatable, but hey, I'm here to highlight what the average person may not observe.

Being picky with semantics when drafting a legislative bill is warranted, and Michigan's law regarding fantasy sports is a prime example of why. One legislator is trying to modify it because apparently the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has a thought-provoking stance on the issue. The MGCB executive director considers playing DFS to be "illegal under current Michigan law." Sen. Curtis Hertel is looking to modify current Michigan law to protect citizens' right to play.

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