Jeff Fannell Speaks to NYC Bar’s Sports Law Committee on COVID-19’s Impact on Sports With the coronavirus pandemic forcing the postponement or cancellation of virtually every major sport, many are wondering when or if sports will return. Members of the New York City Bar Association’s Sports Law Committee recently hosted Jeff Fannell to discuss the issues related to the potential resumption of sports in 2020. In a Zoom conference meeting, Jeff shared his views on the logistical, economic and moral issues associated with the return to play. Included in his remarks was a detailed description of the likely implementation of centralized “Biodomes” that would allow individual sports leagues to closely monitor the health and safety of athletes and others. The Committee meeting was moderated by Committee Co-Chair David Sussman, Special Counsel at Jenner & Block.
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Brian Goodwin won his salary arbitration case and will be paid $2.2 million this coming season. The Angels offered Goodwin $1.85 million, who was coming off the best year of his career in 2019, hitting .262/.326/.470 with 17 home runs and 47 RBI. Goodwin is represented by Dan Lozano of MVP Sports Group. His principal case was presented by Jon Fetterolf of Zuckerman Spaeder, while JFA argued rebuttal on Goodwin’s behalf. This was Goodwin’s first trip through the arbitration process.
Dodgers setup man Pedro Baez won his arbitration hearing against the team and will be paid his requested salary of $4 million, rather than the club’s submission of $3.5 million. JFA represented Baez in the hearing, which was the first win for players in this year’s arbitration proceedings. Prior to the Baez win, teams were 4-for-4. In 2019, Baez was one of the best setup men in baseball, notching a career-high 25 holds, which was tops among Dodgers relievers and third in the National League. This was Baez’s third and final trip through the arbitration process. Now Baez and his agent, Kelvin Nova, of the Nova Sports Agency, can look forward to next winter when Baez will become a free agent.
On Wednesday, April 3, 2019, Jeff Fannell was a featured speaker at the UEFA Executive Master for International Players program (MIP). UEFA (the Union of European Football Associations) is the governing body of European Football and the umbrella organization for 54 national football associations across Europe. The UFEA MIP was created to prepare former professional athletes for a second career in sports. Jeff addressed the group on The Role of Agents in American Sports, touching on such topics as agent certification, contract negotiation, the union-agent relationship and the agent’s role in collective bargaining.
On Friday, March 29, 2019, Jeff Fannell appeared on Arise! with Bill Fletcher, discussing the current challenges in Major League Baseball, both on the field and off. The interview with Fletcher, a noted labor activist and author, was aired live on WPFW 89.3 FM and can be heard in its entirety here.
February 22, 2019 – Jeff Fannell joined attorneys Gregg Clifton, Garrett Broshuis and Marc Edelman, along with former NFL player Chris Kluwe at the Sixth Annual Sports Law Symposium at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Jeff’s panel, entitled Power in Numbers, explored the benefits of unionizing and the challenges confronted by players associations. Specific subjects covered during the 90-minute session included collective bargaining, free agency, efforts to unionize minor league baseball players, and the potential advantages of antitrust litigation (following union decertification). Over 100 attendees were on hand for the day-long conference that was opened by remarks and Q & A with J.J. Reddick of the Philadelphia 76ers, and featured a keynote address from Andrew Brandt, Director of Moorad Center for Sports Law at Villanova University School of Law. The event was sponsored by Penn Law’s Entertainment and Sports Law Society.
Now that the United States Supreme Court has struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection ACT (PASPA), a federal law that (with a few exceptions) prohibited state-authorized sports gambling, several states are lining up to enact legislation that allows sports wagering within their borders. And why not? There is huge money in sports betting. Last year, Nevada raked in nearly $5 billion in sports wagering. States like New Jersey, New York and others all want a piece of the action. States are not alone in this regard. Sports leagues, many of which opposed efforts to get rid of PASPA, also have their hands out looking for a quick buck. Having sensed that they were losing the PASPA battle, the NBA, NFL, MLB and others came up with the ingenious idea that if the Court were to strike PASPA leagues could cash in on the new legal landscape by imposing “integrity fees” on those states that enact new gambling laws. What are integrity fees? Some say it’s a nice way of saying “extortion.” The leagues and governing bodies say integrity fees are necessary to maintain the integrity and public confidence in their respective sports. The rationale goes like this: once […]
October 20, 2017 – The Fall 2017 St. John’s Law Alumni Magazine features a cover story on SJU alums working in the sports and entertainment industry, and includes comments from Jeff Fannell. You can read the full article here.
October 17, 2017 – Jeff Fannell spoke recently with Global News Canada (Hamilton, Oct. 16) about the collusion grievance filed by free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick against the National Football League. Kaepernick has remained unsigned this season after his much-publicized protest to bring awareness to police brutality and social injustice in the United States. Listen HERE for Jeff’s take on the grievance and the current state of athlete activism.
Back in January, I posted about my desire to create an academic scholarship as a way to express my gratitude for all of the help and the blessings I have received over the course of my studies and my career. Several people were kind enough to reach out to offer advice and guidance. Now, less than six months later, I am overjoyed to announce the creation of the Fannell Family Scholarship at my law school alma mater, St. John’s University School of Law in Queens, NY. Through a pledge of $50,000, combined with a dollar-for-dollar match from the Brennan Family Scholarship Matching Program once the pledge threshold is met, we will have a $100,000 endowed scholarship at St. John’s Law that will provide one or more partial scholarships each year to an African-American student with a demonstrated interest in labor and employment law. One of the beauties of the endowed scholarship is that once created, the capital is preserved, providing financial assistance to generations of students in perpetuity. I am thrilled at the opportunity, through the scholarship, to help others as others have helped me. My sincere thanks to Philip Maroney, Advancement Officer at St. John’s, for […]