Labor Relations in Professional Sports

Labor Relations in Professional Sports

Labor Relations in Professional Sports

Labor Relations in Professional Sports

Synopsis

For all the billions of dollars the sports industry generates, its labor laws and negotiations are still relatively new, and their impact is only beginning to be felt. Labor Relations in Professional Sports offers a step-by-step examination of how these new management-player relationships have come about and what they may portend for the future. In an engaging style that is rich in sports history and anecdotes, the authors examine the background of the major team sports--baseball, football, basketball, and hockey--and analyze how business and legal considerations have affected each sport's development. They also probe current unresolved issues and predictable future problems, such as the relationships of broadcast networks and sports leagues. "Surprisingly, this book with so formidable a title is not only readable but even difficult to put down. Explanations of complex legal decisions are reduced to brief, lucid passages. Extensive footnotes are provided in each chapter for readers who wish greater detail.",Choice ." . . a comprehensive treatment of labor relations in sports. . . . Overall, the book is a slam-dunk success." Journal of Law and Commerce

Excerpt

Professional sports have assumed expanded places of importance in American society. With their amateur counterparts, they dominate substantial portions of media attention and enter our homes through print, radio, television, and just plain conversation. The sociological, psychological, and political aspects of sports are significant. The business potentials are significant. The legal consequences are necessities.

We suggest in this book a need to examine the structural and legal underpinnings of professional sports in order to understand where sports are headed. The first two chapters introduce the backgrounds in general, developing the thesis that today labor relations and the labor laws have assumed pivotal roles in determining the development of professional sports. There follows an examination of each of the four major team sports -- baseball, football, basketball, and hockey. Only after explication of the idiosyncrasies of the individual leagues and their experiences in labor relations can we probe the current unresolved issues and the predictable future problems yet to unfold. The final two chapters make no pretense at perfect analysis or forecast, but we are willing to suggest that many of the problems discussed will be realities on the professional sports scene for years to come.

This book's origins lie in a lengthy law review article written by two of the authors, appearing in Case Western Reserve Law Review 31 (1981), at pages 685-813. The third author had also written previously on themes developed in these pages. Up to this point, we had not had the opportunity to develop in depth and league-by-league the examination of the multifaceted relationships existing in professional sports; we welcome this occasion to do so.

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