Preeminent LGBT Lawyer Explains Transgender Athletes’ Rights

Sports are often a mirror of society — the good and the bad. Yet while sports is often the one area where talent overrides racial, gender, and religious biases and prejudices, transgender athletes are still battling for acceptance.

A recent lawsuit filed by a California woman against CrossFit illustrates the challenge that transgender athletes face when attempting to compete in sexually divided sports. Chloie Jonsson, a personal trainer, charges the CrossFit company with discrimination, intentional infliction of emotional distress and unfair competition for prohibiting her from competing in a strength competition as a female. She is seeking $2.5 million in damages.

Ms. Jonsson’s struggle to compete as a woman after undergoing sexual reassignment surgery and hormone treatment raises many difficult legal questions about how athletic organizations should handle transgender athletes’ requests to compete in a given gender classification. To answer some of those questions I turned to the top LGBT lawyer in Philadelphia, Angela Giampolo. Ms. Giampolo, who runs PhillyGayLawyer.com, specializes in Corporate Law, Real Estate, International Law (Asia and Africa), Civil Rights, LGBT Law, and Estate Planning.

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Employee of the Year

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Scholarship Athletes of the World, Unite!

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NLRB Rings The Death Bell For The NCAA

Former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter led the push for players to unionize with the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA).

March 26, 2014. Remember this date. It is the day one of the most powerful and profitable “non-profits” in the nation, the NCAA, began its long march to extinction. It is the day that “student-athletes,” a cleverly crafted classification intentionally created by lawyers to sneak past labor laws, were recognized as employees entitled to unionize and collectively bargain. On this day, the National Labor Relations Board stood up to the money-making machine that is college football and deemed Northwestern University football players as employees based on the findings of NLRB regional director Peter Sung Ohr (full text after the jump).

Today is also bizarre. As much as the glaring inequality of all the revenue generated by athletes bypassing the actual athletes to line coaches’ and administrators’ pockets, do we really want the NCAA to die? In the next few years will major college athletics cease to exist as we know it? Will March no longer be mad? Will I need to find a hobby to occupy Saturdays in the Fall?

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Latest Stadium Sponsorship Deals Signal A New Wave of Corporate Dollars

By Jonathan Gordon, a student at the University of Notre Dame’s top-ranked Mendoza College of Business. He is the founder of Sports Analytics Blog, a leading resource on the big data and analytics industry within sports. Jonathan has previously worked with an NFL agent and did freelance research for Couchmans LLP during his semester abroad in London.

The delicious sounding Smoothie King Center is now home to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Stadium naming sponsorships have become so commonplace that it is the rare exception when a team does not play under a corporate logo.

Even holdouts like Soldier Field, Dodger Stadium, and Fenway Park are plastered with sponsors’ names. Corporations enjoy the attention they receive from having their brands on teams’ facilities. On the other side, teams benefit from the millions of dollars in extra revenue they receive from selling their stadiums’ naming rights.

Notably, three teams from three different leagues recently announced new stadium sponsorship deals. Several other teams also appear to be searching for corporate sponsors and may be announcing naming rights deals throughout the year, which warrants a closer examination of the latest stadium naming deals.

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New Studies Reveal Concussion Prevention Laws Do Not Make Young Athletes Safer

The inability of state laws to prevent traumatic brain injuries in youth sports could make a concussed-brain a ticking time bomb. (Graphic by Ben McKenna)

Despite good intentions, laws aimed at preventing concussions and promoting concussion awareness in youth sports are not making young athletes any safer.

Two new studies published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine paint a grim picture of the impact of concussion prevent laws.

The first study surveyed 270 coaches from a random sample of public high school football, girls’ soccer, and boys’ soccer in Washington State. Nearly all answered concussion knowledge questions correctly and the majority said they felt very comfortable deciding whether an athlete needed further concussion evaluation.

However, among the 778 athletes surveyed in a second study, 40 percent reported that their coach was not aware of their concussion, and 69 percent of the athletes reported they played with concussion symptoms. Even worse, only 33 percent of athletes who had experienced symptoms consistent with concussions reported receiving a concussion diagnosis.

Washington’s law is named for Zackery Lystedt who suffered a brain injury in 2006 following his return to a middle school football game after sustaining a concussion. He and his family, along with medical personnel, lobbied the state extensively for a law to protect young athletes in all sports from returning to play too soon.

Now that Mississippi passed a youth concussion law in January, all 50 U.S. states have a law aimed at preventing youth brain injuries in sports. But are they working?

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Ray Rice Provides Important Lesson on Assault

These rays of sunshine are no strangers to the criminal justice system. Now Ray Rice (left) is hoping to avoid jail time just like alleged murderer Ray Lewis (right) after assaulting his fiancee in a casino.

Another day, another NFL player arrested. Such is life for the most profitable non-profit league with $35 million worth of commissioning each year.

Seriously, though, according to the NFL Arrest Database compiled by U-T San Diego, NFL players have been arrested 685 times since 2000. That is about one player arrested per week.

This week, however, has been particularly troubling for the Baltimore Ravens. Less than two years after celebrating while murderer, I mean, justice obstructor extraordinaire Ray Lewis, hoist the Lombardi Trophy, the Ravens have found themselves in the crime blotter a lot recently. On Friday night, wide receiver Deonte Thompson was arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia in Gainesville, Florida. And last weekend star running back Ray Rice was arrested after knocking his fiancee unconscious in an Atlantic City casino. Since the 2000-2001 season, Baltimore Ravens players have now been arrested 19 times.

What makes Rice’s latest transgression all the more appalling is that the whole attack was captured on camera because it was a casino — everything is on camera in a casino.

In the aftermath of Rice’s knockout blow to his fiancee, the terms assault, simple assault, and aggravated assault, have been thrown around interchangeably. For anyone who has ever taken a criminal law class, this can be infuriating. So buckle up and consider this an early bar review because it is time to crack open the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice.

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Global Sports Lawyer Reveals the Secret to Being Your Own Boss and Representing Olympic Athletes

Even if you have never skied or touched a curling stone, the Olympics seem to bring all sports fans together in rare shows of nationalism and USA pride. For Paul Greene, the Olympics are a bit more personal. Greene, one of the most renowned sports lawyers in the world, represents many of the athletes competing in the Olympics including recent gold medalist Jamie Anderson. Whether defending against doping allegations, negotiating contracts, or protecting an athlete’s intellectual property, Greene has carved out a niche in international sports law.

And now, just as the Olympic flame was lit in Sochi, Greene has launched his own firm, Global Sports Advocates in Portland, Maine after years in the big firm world. Greene, a University of Maine School of Law graduate, has handled sports law matters around the world, including numerous hearings before the international Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland known as the “Supreme Court for Sports Law.” Greene is also a past contributor to The Legal Blitz, so we decided to pick his brain about Olympic law issues and life as a solo practitioner.

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Putin Makes the Olympics Safe for Kids

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Dennis Rodman Is Now An International Liability

Dennis Rodman is a lot of things – a fierce rebounder, a mediocre actor, colorful, wormy, ex-husband of Carmen Electra – but is he an international criminal?

It turns out that Rodman’s recent affinity with North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un might land him in jail for violating United States law and several United Nations’ resolutions.

So where exactly did Rodman’s attempt at diplomacy go wrong?

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