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November 12, 2015
I enjoyed serving as a panelist on the Catalyst Network Foundation’s (CNF) “Meeting of the Minds” event regarding minorities in the sports industry. This event provided a great forum for discussion on important and emerging issues in the sports industry, some of which uniquely affect minorities. My experiences as a collegiate athlete and member of Covington’s litigation practice in the sports industry informed my perspective on the wide-range of topics that the panel discussed. These topics included the status of collegiate athletes as amateurs in the wake of O’Bannon v. NCAA, an antitrust class action lawsuit challenging the NCAA’s rules prohibiting student-athletes from being paid for the use of their names, images, and likenesses, and the pressures and challenges facing student-athletes and professional athletes.
The popularity and business of collegiate and professional sports continues to grow rapidly, especially for football and basketball, where minorities comprise a significant percentage of the athletes playing these sports. The increased popularity and business of sports has brought more attention to the many social, policy, and legal issues facing this industry. It was great to exchange views and gain insight from the other panelists and the audience, who actively participated in the discussion.
CNF’s Meeting of the Minds program is a great program that provides a forum for discussion on topics affecting minority communities, and I look forward to participating in future forums.
- Written by Cyril Djoukeng, an associate in Covington’s Washington, DC office and a member of the Litigation Practice Group.