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 […]
April 4, 2017- Paris, France – Jeff Fannell will be speaking at the 2017 World Player Development Conference this Wednesday, April 5th. Along with Don Davis, Senior Director of Player Affairs and Development (NFLPA) and Steve Webb, Divisional Player Representative (NHLPA), Fannell will be featured on the panel discussion focused on case studies of major US sports. Lookout for the full panel and conference experience recap from Jeff later this week at http://fannell.com/blog. The biennial World Player Development Conference is being jointly hosted by EU Athletes and FIFPro in Paris from April 3 – 5, 2017. The conference brings together 80 of the world’s leading player development professionals and player association executives. It is being professionally facilitated by LawInSport CEO and founder Sean Cottrell, a committed advocate of athlete welfare, in an open environment that encourages discussion and the sharing of experience and expertise. The 2017 conference follows World Players’ inaugural World Player Development Conference hosted by the Australian Athletes’ Alliance in Melbourne in March 2015. For more information on the conference visit HERE. ###
We all are products of our experiences and how we choose to navigate them. In my case, dropping out of college is one of several indelible marks on my soul. I was one of those “most likely to succeed” cats coming out of high school, so dropping out of college a few months later was an unexpected re-write. Remaining a college drop-out for the next eight years was humbling and sometimes disorienting, as I watched former high school classmates repeatedly lap me on the career track. When I got an opportunity to go back to college, thanks to the intervention of a dear family friend, I made the most of it and graduated with honors. When that same family friend encouraged me to apply to law school, I turned a deaf ear. With a wife and two children to care for, I needed to get out of the classroom and into the job market – or so I thought. After a year of rejections and disappointments, I bit the bullet, took the LSAT and applied to law school. By now, we had three children, so the family demands were increasing. I applied to only one law school – St. John’s Law in Queens, NY. It was the […]
It’s been a good minute since I’ve been in this space. From June through December, I was blessed to be actively involved with the Major League Baseball Players Association as they hammered out a new collective bargaining agreement with MLB. It was a challenging and rewarding time; the culmination of over two years of working as a consultant to the PA for what was a particularly challenging round of bargaining. By far, the best aspect of it all was agreeing to a deal that is fair and equitable for the players and the clubs. A close second was the opportunity to work closely with a terrific group of talented professionals at the MLBPA. It was truly rewarding to work alongside the Executive Director, Tony Clark, the brilliant attorneys in the legal department (many of whom are long-time colleagues and friends), and to interact with all of the great people on the PA’s staff who do so much behind the scenes to make life easier. Of course, by reaching a fair deal, we have the assurance of another five years of baseball without a work stoppage. That is certainly good news for the players and clubs, but also for fans, many […]