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Sunday, September 14, 2008
Great New Article on Morals Clauses

I've always found morals clauses in player and endorsement contracts to be interesting. Morals clauses give the employing team/company the right to suspend or terminate a contract with a player who engages in "immoral" conduct. Defining what counts as "immoral" can vary considerably by contract; sometimes a criminal conviction is required, other times just an arrest, and still other times non-criminal, yet embarrassing behavior can count (such as someone getting drunk at a charity function).

Brian Socolow, a partner at Loeb & Loeb in New York City, has a new article out on morals clauses entitled "What Every Player Should Know About Morals Clauses." It's a terrific read -- I recommend checking it out.


I really don't see anything new or insightful in this article. Maybe it would be of interest to someone who does not work in the area, but for someone who does, the article really doesn't add anything. And in some areas, it's just wrong -- morals clauses in team-player contracts cannot be individually negotiated. They are collectively bargained.

Anonymous john -- 9/16/2008 9:33 AM  


Perhaps you should have read the article more carefully. It mentions negotiations between the player and team but also states that there is little room to negotiate in this respect because of collective bargaining. The majority of this article is based on morals clauses in endorsement contracts, which certainly are negotionable and are not collectively bargained for.

I have to agree with Michael here, the article was a great read. It provides a short and interesting synopsis of morals clauses in todays world of professional sports.

I would recomend the article to anyone with an interest in sports law, even if they are already familiar with the subject.

Blogger Jimmy H -- 9/16/2008 3:42 PM  

Well, while this is not something new to those who are involved in sports law, this IS a nice and brief article related to the subject and it never hurts to refresh with this type of material.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 9/16/2008 3:55 PM  

In addition, for someone working in the sports law area outside the US, where collective bargaining is taking early steps sportswise, the idea that morals clauses can work both ways was pretty refreshing.

IN Europe, there have been loads of corruption scandals latelly and I bet a few of the players in those teams relegated or excluded from international competitions would be interested in reading this.

Anonymous Luis Cassiano -- 9/17/2008 12:01 PM  

Very rare that an endorsee would agree to a meaningful reverse morals clause. And it's unlikely a player would turn down a deal because he/she can't get a reverse morals clause. Best you can hope for is to use the request to get a concession on something else.

Anonymous john -- 9/17/2008 3:25 PM  

This would also be an interesting topic for a student law review note or paper, and might merit full-length treatment in the form of a law review article. Friends still in practice report that they are starting to see these kinds of clauses in other personal services contracts -- for example, those of college presidents and other administrators. The vagueness of such clauses makes one wonder if they are intended to have legal significance or merely to help shape norms / shame those covered by such clauses into good behavior.

Blogger Geoffrey Rapp -- 9/18/2008 12:46 PM  

Perhaps such clauses will keep certain athletes from posting their gentiles on the Internet, a la cetain Cowboy football player this week.

Anonymous Christian Debt Relief -- 9/18/2008 1:41 PM  

I think there is nothing special in this article because moral qualities are required for sports players to play well.


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Blogger saravana -- 9/20/2008 12:22 PM  


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Anonymous Abraham -- 9/22/2008 2:07 PM  


Sportsman spirits are the fruiterer of sports.

Anonymous Abraham -- 9/22/2008 2:08 PM  

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Blogger frenzy -- 10/16/2008 9:40 AM  

With the amazing money athletes are paid a personal conduct clause is only expected. You cannot fork out that type of money without asking more from a player than what they do on game day.

Anonymous low cost auto insurance -- 12/25/2008 12:30 PM  

I think I read somewhere that the New York Yankees top 4 players earn more money than some small countries. Now that is totally ridiiculous. With this economy I really expected the spending to slow down. But Derek Lowe just signed for $30 million.

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