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Between the Lines: A Podcast About Sports and the Law
52 minutes | Aug 4, 2022
Episode 30: High School Football and the Battle over Religious Freedom
Earlier this summer, a Supreme Court case about a high school football coach praying at the 50-yard line ignited a fierce debate about freedom of religion and expression. A majority of the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the coach and held that the Constitution protected his right to pray on the field after the game. Proponents of the ruling say it’s a victory for freedom of religion for all Americans. Opponents believe that "this is the greatest loss of religious freedom in our country in generations and will undermine everyone’s right to live as ourselves and believe as we choose.” This episode is about football, but it’s also about something much bigger than that. It’s a story of the role of faith versus policy and the law. It's also a story about how the narrative of a case can sometimes be more important the underlying facts in the case. What does it mean for the future of high school football? For the future of the separation or church and state? To help me sort it all out, I'm joined by the lead lawyers who worked on each side of this landmark case. Hiram Sasser is Executive General Counsel for First Liberty Institute, which represented Joe Kennedy. And Richard Katskee is the Vice President and Legal Director at Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
45 minutes | Jul 14, 2022
Episode 29: Baseball! With Evan Drellich, Chelsea Janes, and Bill Shaikin
On this episode, I discuss all things baseball and the law with Evan Drellich, Senior Writer for The Athletic; Chelsea Janes, National Baseball Writer, Washington Post; and Bill Shaikin, reporter for the LA Times. We cover the future of the MLB antitrust exemption, the international draft, Trevor Bauer, and much more!
45 minutes | Jun 28, 2022
Episode 28: Nazem Kadri, Akim Aliu & Racism in the NHL with Ben Meiselas
On this episode, I'm joined by Ben Meiselas, prominent civil rights and sport lawyer, attorney and business partner of Colin Kaepernick, co-founder of Meidas Touch, an independent pro-democracy media network, and an advisor to the Hockey Diversity Alliance.After winning the Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche, Nazem Kadri told the international television audience that "for everybody that thought I was a liability these playoffs...you can kiss my a-s." Earlier in the playoffs, Kadri, the only Muslim player in the NHL, accidentally injured the goalie for the St. Louis Blues, leading to a a torrent of racist messages and death threats from fans on social media. Ben Meiselas joins me to discuss the Kadri incident, the formation of the Hockey Diversity Alliance by a group of hockey players of color, and the daunting question facing the NHL: why does the league have such a diversity problem, and what can be done to fix it? We also talk about Colin Kaepernick and his prospects of playing in the NFL again.
52 minutes | Jun 20, 2022
Episode 27: Are College Athletes Employees?
This episode tackles a basic question that could have a massive impact on the future of college sports-- are college athletes employees? I'm joined by Paul McDonald, the attorney currently leading the fight for college athletes to be classified as employees, We discuss why Paul thinks his current lawsuit—Johnson v NCAA—will be successful and lead to employee status for college athletes, what employee status would mean for college athletes, and what it all means in the big picture of athlete compensation, name, image and likeness, and the future of college sports.
39 minutes | May 23, 2022
Episode 26: Legendary Lawyer Rusty Hardin on all things Deshaun Watson
Rusty Hardin, the lawyer representing embattled Cleveland Browns Quarterback Deshaun Watson, joins the pod to talk about the possible discipline he is facing from the NFL, the 22 sexual misconduct lawsuits filed against him, why the possible trade with Dolphins fell through, why the trade with the Browns went through, the legal and PR strategy he has used to defend Watson and other high profile athletes, and much more....
1 minutes | May 21, 2022
Episode 26 Preview: Rusty Hardin on the Deshaun Watson Investigation and Litigation
Rusty Hardin, the lawyer representing embattled Cleveland Browns Quarterback Deshaun Watson, joins the pod to talk about the possible discipline he is facing from the NFL, the 22 sexual misconduct lawsuits filed against him, and the legal and PR strategy he has used to defend Watson and other high profile athletes, including Roger Clemens.
35 minutes | Mar 11, 2022
Episode 25: Legendary Sports Lawyer Jim Quinn on Lessons Learned from the MLB Lockout and the Ongoing NCAA Legal Battles
Jim Quinn, the legendary sports lawyer, has served as counsel for every major professional sports players union in the country—including the players associations for the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS. Jim and I discuss the lessons learned from MLB 's first lockout after more than 25 years of labor peace, how he is trying to fight MLB and its exemption for antitrust law in the Supreme Court, the first strike in professional sports history, and the rapidly evolving legal landscape in college sports. Here we go..
32 minutes | Feb 23, 2022
Episode 24: Brian Flores' Lawyers on the New Developments in his Lawsuit Against the NFL
Brian Flores' lawyers-- Douglas Wigdor and Michael Willemin-- join me to offer their perspective on Flores' landmark racial discrimination lawsuit against the NFL and to break down the latest news and developments in the case, including:1) Why they believe Flores has a strong case;2) What Flores is hoping to accomplish with his lawsuit;3) How they claim the Dolphins tried to buy Flores’ silence,;4) Whether other coaches will be joining the lawsuit;5) The Dolphins' request to have the case be heard by Roger Goodell in a private arbitration;6) The next steps in the litigation;And much, much more...
58 minutes | Feb 7, 2022
Episode 23: Brian Flores' Lawsuit, the Rooney Rule, & Racial Discrimination in the NFL
This week I’m joined by two very special guests to help me break down Brian Flores’ lawsuit against the NFL, NY Giants, Denver Broncos, and Miami Dolphins, racial discrimination in the NFL, and the good, bad, and ugly of the NFL’s Rooney Rule.Joining me to discuss are: Jim Rooney, author of "A Different Way to Win," and son of Dan Rooney, the driving force behind (and namesake of) the Rooney Rule; and Jeremi Duru, Professor of Law at American University and one of the country's leading experts in sports law and employment discrimination.
42 minutes | Jan 18, 2022
Episode 22: Michael McCann and the Fastest 40 Minutes in Sports Law
Michael McCann, legal analyst for Sportico, rejoins pod for the fastest 40 minutes in sports law. We run through the hottest issues: the Major League Baseball Lockout, the lawsuit seeking $6 billion against the Jets and Giants for…playing in New Jersey, college athletes and their fight for employee status, the latest challenge to Major League Baseball's 100-year old antitrust exemption, Novak Djokovic vs. Australia, Jon Gruden vs. the NFL, Antonio Brown vs. the Bucs, Oakland vs. the Raiders and more.
55 minutes | Dec 16, 2021
Episode 21: The Uncertain Future of College Sports
This episode takes a deep dive into the latest developments in the wild and rapidly changing world of college sports, including the possibility of college athlete unions, the latest NIL news, the next possible domino to fall in the fight for greater college athlete rights, and the new "National Champions" movie. The special guests on the pod are Jason Stahl, founder of the College Football Players Association, Michael Hsu, founder of the College Basketball Players Association, Justin Falcinelli, former starting center and national champion on the Clemson football team, and Corey Staniscia, External Affairs Director for Dreamfield.
35 minutes | Oct 11, 2021
Episode 20: College Athletes as Employees? Jennifer Abruzzo, General Counsel of the NLRB, Explains
College sports have been in the crosshairs of federal and state legislation and antitrust litigation for the last few years, and a new challenge to the status quo has emerged. Jennifer Abruzzo, General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, recently released a memo that concludes that scholarship college football players at FBS schools are employees. She also explains that use of the term "student-athlete" could violate the law because it leads college athletes to believe that they are not employees.What does this all mean for the future of college athletes and college athletics? Does this apply to all college athletes in all sports, or just football players? Will this lead to the unionization of college athletes? Pay for play? What can we expect next? Jennifer Abruzzo breaks it all down for us.
38 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
Episode 19: The Wild World of College Sports with Michael McCann- NIL, Video Games, Pay for Play, and More!
Michael McCann, legal analyst for Sportico, joins to talk about the wild present and even wilder future of college sports. What can we expect to happen over the next several months, and what is the future for college athlete name, image, and likeness rights, college sports video games, pay for play, and the Fletch reboot.
40 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
Episode 18: The NCAA Goes Down in the Supreme Court...What Happens Next?
A unanimous Supreme Court ruled against the NCAA and held that some of their restrictions on college athlete benefits are illegal under antitrust law. Justice Kavanaugh added a scathing concurring opinion and headlines across the country pronounced that the NCAA is near its death as an organization. What does the case mean? Is this the beginning of the end for the NCAA? What happens next? What goes on behind closed doors at the Supreme Court? Is it appropriate to send emoji texts to a Supreme Court Justice? Rakesh Kilaru, one of the lead lawyers for the NCAA in the Alston case, joins me to answer all of these questions and more.
41 minutes | May 24, 2021
Episode 17: Living Legend Nina Totenberg on NCAA v Alston and the Supreme Court
Nina Totenberg, the legendary, groundbreaking, pioneering, award-winning and beloved long-time legal affairs correspondent for NPR joins me to share her perspective on the looming NCAA v. Alston decision , her incredible career, and her take on the significant shift in the Supreme Court.
34 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
Episode 16: Alston v. NCAA Supreme Court Preview with Jeff Kessler and Jeff Mishkin
This episode previews the oral arguments in the NCAA v. Alston case—the first case involving college sports to reach the U.S. Supreme Court since the landmark NCAA v. Board of Regents case in 1984. Alston could determine the fate of the NCAA’s amateurism model and fundamentally change college sports forever. Or, at least until Congress gets involved. The episode includes previous interviews I did with Jeff Kessler, outside counsel for the plaintiffs who will be arguing the case in front of the Supreme Court, and Jeff Mishkin, outside counsel for the NCAA.
61 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
Episode 15: Katie Hnida on Blazing a Trail for Women in College Football and Being a Survivor of Sexual Assault
On this episode I'm joined by Katie Hnida, the first woman to play in and score points in an NCAA Division I football game. Katie and I talk about her path to playing college football at the highest level, why she enjoys the "few seconds of panic" that come with being a kicker, the highs and lows of her experience being a college football pioneer, including the sexual assault and rape she endured while at the University of Colorado, her history-making success on and off the field at the University of New Mexico, and her continuing advocacy work on violence against women issues.
62 minutes | Feb 10, 2021
Episode 14: Legal Heavyweights Chase Strangio and Neena Chaudhry on Trans Athletes and Sports
This episode features a conversation with two legal heavyweights-- Chase Strangio and Neena Chaudhry. Chase is Deputy Director for Transgender Justice with the ACLU and has successfully litigated a number of cases on behalf of LGBTQ people over the last several years, including a landmark victory in the US Supreme Court last summer. Chase was named to Time Magazine’s List of 100 most influential people in the world, among many other honors. Neena is General Counsel and Senior Advisor for Education at the National Women’s Law Center, where she has focused on fighting sex discrimination in education with a special expertise in Title IX and women’s sports. Chase and Nina join the pod to talk about the legal battles over trans athletes playing sports and how this battle reflects the broader fight for the rights of transgender people in the country, and they help debunk some of the more harmful myths that exist about trans athlete participation in women’s sports. Whatever you think you know about the legal issues of trans athletes in sports, I promise you will learn something new in this episode.
49 minutes | Jan 24, 2021
Episode 13: Dr. David Chao, aka Pro Football Doc, on all Things Medical and Legal in the NFL and Sports Gambling
Dr. David Chao, aka Pro Football Doc, the former team doctor of the San Diego Chargers for 17 years, joins the pod to look at some of the thorny medical, legal and ethical issues that have come up in high profile NFL injury cases, discuss his transition from NFL team doctor to social media doctor and injury guru, talk about how his work might transform sports gambling and fantasy sports, and much much more.
61 minutes | Dec 24, 2020
Episode 12: Legendary Sports Lawyer Jeffrey Kessler on the NCAA's Supreme Court Battle, the US Women's Soccer Players Fight for Equal Pay and Much More
Legendary sports lawyer Jeffrey Kessler joins the pod to talk about the upcoming battle in the Supreme Court over college athlete compensation limits, the US women’s soccer players fight for equal pay, how he is partly responsible for the misery of Jets fans, and how bumping into Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the unlikeliest of places changed his career. And Jeffrey is probably the most well known sports lawyer in the country. He has represented every major players association in the country, litigated some of the most significant sports antitrust cases in history, including the Mcneil case in the early 1990s that led to the creation of free agency in the NFL, Brady v. NFL, which led to the end of the 2011 NFL lockout, is currently representing the plaintiffs in the Alston v. NCAA case that is headed to the Supreme Court, the women’s national soccer team players in their equal pay act lawsuit, and has represented the NFL union on behalf of Tom Brady, Ray Rice, Ezekiel Elliott, the players involved in the “Bountygate” non-scandal, and has also represented Oscar Pistorious, Castor Semenya, and countless other athletes and players associations.
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