Rodeo Read Vol. 6

A quick rundown of this past week in sports, entertainment, and law.

Hello everyone! I’ve been put in charge of the Rodeo Read this week, so this esports writer is going to do his best to give you all a true rodeo experience.

Hold on to your bucking bronco of choice, because we’re jumping right in.

Britney Spears Takes a Big Win

You can’t get far in entertainment without stumbling across the name of Britney Spears, but this week carries some particularly big news as Britney has successfully gotten her father removed as her conservator. If you’re not up to speed, Britney Spears, due to her erratic public behavior around 2008, was put under a conservatorship. A conservatorship means someone, the conservator, assumes the legal rights and responsibilities of a person who is deemed by the court to be unable to care for themselves, giving the conservator the power to make decisions for them. This is the legal equivalent of removing agency from that person, making it so they need permission from the conservator to do a wide variety of things, including talking to people or spending money. When Britney began fighting against her conservatorship in order to reclaim some of her agency, a movement (#FreeBritney) began to pick up steam, causing Britney’s case to gain a lot of public attention as well as bringing focus to the legal practice of conservatorships in general. One of Britney’s biggest contentions with her conservatorship was that her conservator was her father, but on September 29, 2021, 13 years after the establishment of Britney’s conservatorship, her father was removed by the court and replaced with CPA John Zabel. This is considered to be a huge win for Britney in her case, as her attorney called her father, Jamie Spears, a “cruel, toxic, and abusive man” in a recent court hearing, giving a clearer picture as to why removing the father was so important. The battle isn’t over, however, as Britney’s next step is to terminate the conservatorship entirely, which will be heard by the court on November 12th.

The Showdown of the Season: NBA vs. Unvaccinated Players

The NBA has been abuzz this last week due to its attempts to get every NBA player vaccinated. In a recent move, NBA spokesperson Mike Bass has stated that “Any player who elects not to comply with local vaccination mandates will not be paid for games that he misses,” an action likely taken in response to players like Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving and Golden State forward Andrew Wiggins who are still not compliant with the NBA’s vaccination policies. This recent decision could cost both players millions of dollars, as if they skip games that take place in the localities of San Francisco or New York, both of which require individuals in sports arenas be vaccinated to enter, they won’t get paid for those games. Both players have made limited comments regarding their vaccination status, citing it as a “private matter,” but such privacy doesn’t appear to be too much of a concern for the NBA given their rather “in your face” approach to the issues of vaccination. The NBA may be facing even further opposition, however, as Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac recently gave a brief address regarding his reasons for not being vaccinated. The address was greeted with a dearth of positive feedback on Twitter, something that likely won’t serve as a boon to the NBA as it tries to navigate the issue. Therefore, it would appear that this ballgame is far from over, as both sides seem rather stalwart in their positions and bring their own share of points to the table. Now may be a good time for further negotiations to start, especially as concerns of unvaccinated star players missing games will continue to grow before the start of the season on Oct. 19th, potentially diminishing the competitiveness of the sport as a whole.

NWSL Commissioner and General Counsel Removed

Lisa Baird, NWSL Commissioner, and Lisa Levine, NWSL General Counsel, were ousted on Friday following the accusations of sexual coercion against the North Carolina Courage coach, John Riley, which spanned across multiple leagues and teams over almost a decade. The ousting was made public shortly after it was announced the NWSL games for the weekend were postponed in response to the allegations against Riley, who has since been removed from his position as coach and further stripped of his coaching license. Further, US Soccer and FIFA announced they will be launching their own investigations into Riley, as NWSL’s investigation has been handed over to SafeSport, which investigates sexual misconduct cases in the Olympic movement. Lisa Baird and Lisa Levine made the news in relation to this situation due to emails brought to the limelight by USWNT player Alex Morgan that showed that Baird was made aware of the alleged abuse months ago, but took no action. This revelation ultimately led to their ousting this Friday, as investigations continue in an attempt to discover and remedy as many wrongs as possible. Not much can be added to this story at this time other than to keep an eye on it over the weeks to come, as it is still developing and will likely carry more shocking news as it progresses.

Cloud9 Heads into the League of Legends World Championship

Sorry folks, I wouldn’t be the esports writer if I didn’t slip at least one esports story into this Rodeo Read.

A North American team, Cloud9, has created a lot of tentative hype as it heads into the League of Legends World Championship (called “Worlds”). They have qualified due to being the 3rd seed in North America, a direct result of snatching a close 3-2 victory against their rival TSM in August. Their roster is jampacked with talent, so fans are hopeful that they will go far in the competition, especially since everyone is itching for some major esports action after the COVID-19 pandemic stalled many of the most anticipated competitions. However, Cloud9 isn’t without its own baggage, as the team originally dominated their fellow North American competition before sliding into a shaky descent over the past four months. This recent victory may be a sign of them breaking their slump, however, as they tend to be a team that excels on riding the hype of their last win into their next game. The question is just whether or not the team can take the momentum they have and maximize it so they can wind up at the top of the biggest League of Legends international tournament of the year. There’s no doubt the talent, skill, and teamwork is there, it’s just a question of whether or not Cloud9, and North America as a region, has what it takes to walk away with the win.

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JD Candidate 2022 | Buffalo Law Review Note & Comment Editor | Buffalo Sports & Entertainment Law Society Esports Writer

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