Archive - June 2017
- Column: Redskins Win Legal CaseJune 29, 2017
On an 8-0 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) effectively overturned a U.S. District Court case that decided the Washington Redskins name violated the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act. The irony is that the Redskins weren’t even a party to the case. The Lanham Act, passed by Congress in 1946, allows the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to deny federal registration for trademarks that “may disparage ... persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs or national symbols.” Any trademark – defined as a word, symbol or other mark that distinguishes a source of goods from others – can be denied protection, even cancelled, if it disparages a substantial percentage of a distinct group of people, be it a racial, ethnic, religious or political group.
- Column: Deleting Track Records Would Set Dangerous PrecedentJune 22, 2017
Track and field’s longest-standing outdoor world record is in danger, but not from a contestant on the track. In 1983, Jarmila Kratochvilova of the Czech Republic, then part of what was called Czechoslovakia, ran the 800 meters in 1 minute 53.28 seconds, a record that stands to this day. Kratochvilova was 32 at the time, an age when most short-distance runners are beyond their prime. That’s why a group of European track officials, in a move some are calling an attempt to “restore credibility” to their sport, recommended last month that the sport’s global governing body void all world records set before 2005. That was the year when track and field began storing blood and urine samples for use in sophisticated drug screenings.
- Column: Sports Betting Is InevitableJune 15, 2017
Sports betting is coming to a place near you, perhaps sooner than you think. And that place may be as close as your hand. Last month the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a draft of legislation designed to repeal the last vestiges of federal prohibitions on sports betting. If passed, the Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act, or “GAME Act,” would give the Federal Trade Commission oversight authority to regulate sports gambling, including online gambling. The GAME Act would repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), the federal law that prohibits state-sponsored sports betting in all but four states - Delaware, Oregon, Nevada and Montana – which were grandfathered by PASPA.
- Column: Is The Cuban Influx In MLB Over?June 8, 2017
When Luis Robert, a 19-year old outfielder, signed a free agent contract with the Chicago White Sox last week he was touted in some circles as the last of a dying breed: A Cuban ballplayer signing for mega-bucks. That may or may not be true, but even if it is, don’t count on Robert being the last Cuban player signed by an MLB team. MLB teams are perpetually in search of talent, the less expensive the better. Furthermore, the competition among clubs to sign the best players is fierce. No team wants to be looking up at 29 other teams in the standings or hearing from the media and their fans how the rest of the league is “smarter” than they are in evaluating talent. It’s because of that competition that over the past seven years teams have collectively guaranteed almost $800 million on mostly unproven Cuban players.
- Column: Does MLB Have A Safety Issue?June 1, 2017
Major League Baseball may have a safety issue but contrary to what you’re probably thinking, this one isn’t due to the action on the field. Much has been made over the recent spat of fan injuries resulting from foul balls and pieces of shattered bats flying into the stands. The most recent instance to garner headlines occurred on May 24 at Yankee Stadium during a game between the Yankees and Kansas City Royals. The Yankees’ Chris Carter broke his bat and the barrel flew into the stands, injuring a young boy sitting a few rows behind the third base dugout.