News & Notes 7.19.11

Troublesome Tweeter Rashard Mendenhall

Mendenhall Sues Former Sponsor: The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall filed a federal lawsuit Monday against Champion. Mendenhall was hired as an endorser for Champion brand sports apparel in 2008. However, his contract was terminated by Champion’s parent company, Hanesbrands Inc., in May after he made controversial comments on Twitter regarding the death of Osama bin Laden and the events of Sept. 11, 2001. He is seeking more than $1 million in damages as part of his breach of contract lawsuit filed in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Question of Unpaid Benefits Is One of NFL’s Last Details: The New York Times reports that NFL labor deal negotiators met again in New York, haggling over the final few details that stand in a way of an agreement in principle to end the four-month lockout. At issue is a demand by the players’ lawyers for $320 million that the owners did not have to pay in benefits because 2010 was a year in which there was no salary cap. The absence of benefits payments was a provision of the last collective bargaining agreement, but the players now want that money as part of the settlement that would also include the resolution of the antitrust case and the television damages case.

Union Plans Player Meetings As NBA Lockout Drags On With No Progress: Sports Illustrated reports that the NBA lockout is nowhere near being close to over as the players’ union is planning a series of player sessions in as many as six cities over “the next month or so,” as a way to help with its planning during the lockout and update players on the state of negotiations with the NBA.

Can NBA Players File For Unemployment?: The Charlotte Observer investigated whether or not NBA players are eligible for unemployment benefits after Ty Lawson tweeted that question. It turns out, according to the N.C. Employment Security Commission that the answer is “No.”

Game Fixing Rattles Soccer Around World: The New York Times reports that international soccer authorities and law enforcement officials are struggling to combat rampant game fixing by what they describe as sprawling networks of organized crime, a problem that has plagued the sport for decades but appears to have intensified recently.

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