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Contract Clause For Stupidity

Teams may decide to put something like that in their next contracts for players like Brandon Marshall and Derrick Coleman (who at least got injured in retirement).

Like many other washed up (see: Emmitt Smith) and current athletes (see: Jason Taylor), Derrick Coleman thought he could boost his publicity and make some cheddar by appearing on a reality television show. Thus, he signed up for a taping of Spike TV’s, Pros vs. Joes. Turns out that Coleman injured his knee while boxing out a salesman from Philadelphia (quite the Joe). Stupidity Score = 6/10.

Brandon Marshall recently suffered lacerations in his arm. This sort of thing can happen. Maybe he was in a knife fight or was playing horseshoes with razorblades. Neither far-fetched story can match what truly happened, though. The Broncos receiver could miss up to four months of training, because he put his arm through a home entertainment center after slipping on a McDonald’s bag while on vacation in Florida. Stupidity Score = 9/10.

What’s worse, Marshall’s injury or Bill Gramatica’s injury? I vividly remember the little guy going crazy after kicking the game winner, only to be in agonizing pain thereafter.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

2 replies on “Contract Clause For Stupidity”

Actually, most player agreements nowadays contain provisions relating to non-sports related injuries. While far from being an axiom (standard player contracts in most sports don’t have a uniform clause), teams have successfully inserted opt-out and other like clauses to protect themselves from having to fork over $$$ (especially for top-tier stars) when a player suffers a non-sport related injury. These prohibitions can encompass anything from simply restricting one from engaging in “dangerously reckless” activities to player specific conduct – i.e. Jeff Kent can’t ride a motorcycle (let alone pop a wheelie at 45mph).

As far as a “Gramatica Clause” – that type of vagary has yet to bear fruit.

To add to Jeff’s point – Vladimir Radmanovic had a similar clause in his contract that came into play when he was injured while snowboarding.

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