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Category Archives: Sports History

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The One and Only Jackie Robinson

Posted in Sports History

Looking forward to Ken Burns’ 4 hour salute that premieres tonight. A few previews worth noting: He was a UCLA Bruin. The Dodgers wanted a college man for its first African-American player. There was no law against having Black players. There was not anything in the baseball rules. It was a “Gentleman’s Agreement” that was… Continue Reading

Yogi and Sam

Posted in Sports Business and the Law, Sports History

As featured everywhere, including USA Today, Yogi is dead. I have always been struck by the wise malaprops that both he and Samuel Goldwyn coined. So much wisdom in each man. I have used Goldwynisms and Yogiisms before juries and each never fail to draw a chuckle from the audience. As a tribute, let me… Continue Reading

Coaches and Schools Play Fast and Loose with Contracts

Posted in Sports Business and the Law, Sports History

Leaving a job is easy – if not stressful – for almost the entire population: you leave on your own accord or are asked to leave by your employer. Some people have employment contracts which provide specific compensation or benefits upon separation; other people sign agreements with specific clauses which bar them from using their… Continue Reading

Trademark Battles Are For The Birds

Posted in Intellectual Property, Sports Business and the Law, Sports History

On August 11, 2014, the ownership group for the Toronto Blue Jays, Rogers Blue Jays Partnership, filed a Notice of Opposition with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, opposing the registration of Creighton University’s redesigned Bluejay logo. On September 18, 2013, Creighton filed a trademark application with the… Continue Reading

Wang Sued For Allegedly Backing Out Of Deal To Sell Islanders

Posted in Sports Business and the Law, Sports History

The NHL’s illustrious New York Islanders:  winners of four consecutive Stanley Cups in the early 1980s.   Coached by the immortal Al Arbour and propelled by five future Hockey Hall of Famers, the Isles and their fans in Nassau and Suffolk Counties enjoyed one of the greatest runs in hockey history.  The names still resonate:  Bossy,… Continue Reading

Death of a Football Player

Posted in Sports History

By Jeffrey S. Kravitz, Esquire Jovan Belcher had his whole life ahead of him and now he and his girlfriend are gone. According to the Daily News, he kissed the corpse after he shot her, before killing himself. Law allows us to grow as we grow old. Athletics often rob us of that luxury. As… Continue Reading

Culture & Commerce in Rugby

Posted in Sports Business and the Law, Sports History

Where else would a New Zealand Rugby team and a Hip-Hop impresario become embroiled in a conflict over cultural expression? The dispute here hinges on the use of the phrase “All Black Everything,” recently registered by S. Carter Enterprises, LLC, owned by Hip-Hop star and trendsetter Jay-Z, and the New Zealand Rugby team named the “All Blacks.” S. Carter Enterprises, LLC resolved the dispute before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board on May 24, 2012 by carving out Rugby and Rugby-related clothes from the scope of its registration.

Top 5 Athletes Who Became Lawyers

Posted in Sports History

 Here is a list of athletes who turned lawyers after their sports careers: 5. Alan Page (Football Hall of Famer and former Justice of Minnesota Supreme Court) 4. Nick Buoniconti (NFL Pro-Bowler and Massachusetts lawyer) 3. Ken Dryden (Montreal Canadians and Canadian lawyer) 2. Terry Baker (Heisman Trophy winner and Oregon attorney) 1. Fidel Castro… Continue Reading

Dodging a Bullet

Posted in Sports History

Richard Williams was the Swiss tennis champion and one of the survivors of the Titanic. He went on to be NCAA singles champion. Talk about dodging the bullet…..As a pup lawyer and a Deputy Attorney General, I defended a civil rights case filed in propia persona by one James Von Brunn. We won and years later… Continue Reading

Bubba Is Dead

Posted in Sports History

Bubba Smith was the most feared college defenseman of my youth. He went on to a terrific pro career and a little bit of my personal history goes with him dying on my birthday (August 3rd). How do powerful men die at "only" 66? Segue: I love trying cases, but perhaps my least favorite would be defending… Continue Reading

Winning By Losing

Posted in Sports History

By repute, Abe Lincoln was one of the great trial lawyers of his day. Tall, commanding, and a great story teller, he could hold a jury or any other audience. Yet biographies on him are replete with his defeats, including a defeat for Congress and an unsuccessful courtship. We saw this recently in the victory of… Continue Reading

The Bard of Baseball

Posted in Sports History

The Los Angeles Times of March 31, 2011 (see online edition) has an ode to Vin Scully on the editorial page. You can argue who is the greatest baseball player, but you cannot seriously argue as to who is the greatest baseball announcer ever. For those who have not had the privilege, take a look… Continue Reading

Movie “Jews and Baseball”

Posted in Sports History

Went to see this movie at a benefit last weekend.  Fascinating look at the world we do not know. I realize it sounds like an oxymoron….witness that Brandeis University’s team is the Judges, but there is more to this theme than meets the eye.  Specifically, historically any number of Jewish ballplayers played under assumed or changed names… Continue Reading

Why Great Ones Fail

Posted in Sports History

My friend and mentor Cordell Parvin wrote a blog post entitled "Why I Cannot Light Your Fire for Very Long", which chronicles how and why motivation must come from within and give a lists the steps to self-motivation, respectively: Focus on the journey each day, not the destination.  Do not compare how you are doing… Continue Reading

Is Nothing Holy?

Posted in Sports History

In February 1927, a golfing foursome was arrested in Greensville South Carolina for golfing on a Sunday. A state law outlawed golfing on the Lord’s Day.  When released, the golfers finished their game in North Carolina, and we have come a long way since.  We now play on every which day and players give up… Continue Reading

Martin Luther King Day

Posted in Sports History

ESPN.com has a number of short video pieces on the meaning of Dr. Martin Luther King to various athletes. I am not an athlete, but have to share with you my memory. My father was born and raised in Newark, N.J. and lived in a one-parent home. His graduation pictures reflect the beautiful diversity of… Continue Reading

The Sandbox of the News

Posted in Sports History

The sports page used to be referred to as the "sandbox of the newspaper," which I suppose would be now called the Sandbox of the Media or some such thing. Former President Ford used to say that he would always read the sports page first. And that was when he was in the White House.… Continue Reading

A Top Sports Story

Posted in Sports History

 The following is one of Len Berman’s Top 5 Sports Stories for November 22, 2010: "If you were alive in 1963, you’ll always remember this date. I was in high school and they dismissed school without telling us why. We were left to fend for ourselves. Walking through the streets of Manhattan that Friday afternoon,… Continue Reading