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Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Delayed Justice: Jury verdict in "The Hillsborough Disaster"

The top Sports Law story in the world today?

No, not the awful ruling by the Second Circuit reinstating the suspension of Tom Brady for, more probably than not, conspiring to deflate a few footballs contrary to the laws of physics.

A far more significant event occurred across the pond where justice was actually served.

After two years of hearing evidence, a jury in Liverpool has found that soccer fans were “unlawfully killed” in what became known as the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989. The event was a match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium. Police and stadium personnel had set up pens without adequate turnstiles to prevent fans from confronting one another. The result was chaos as 96 died from crush injuries and 796 lay injured. Originally, the authorities blamed the fans and circulated false stories about individuals acting in a manner justifying police actions.

The jurors concluded the fans were in no way responsible for the incident and that the police, stadium personnel, and emergency responders were entirely to blame for the tragedy. When the verdict was announced, tears were shed and those in attendance rose and applauded the jury.

Justice may have been delayed after nearly 30 years but it was not denied. The same cannot be said for what happened at Foley Square in a case of far less importance to the world of sports, since it was literally, like the show Seinfeld, about nothing.


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