Off-Court Misbehavior: Sports Leagues and Private Punishment

26 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2009 Last revised: 13 Jan 2015

Janine Young Kim

Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law

Matthew J. Parlow

Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law

Date Written: August 6, 2009

Abstract

This Essay examines how professional sports leagues address (apparently increasing) criminal activity by players off of the field or court. It analyzes the power of professional sports leagues and, in particular, the commissioners of those leagues, to discipline wayward athletes. Such discipline is often met with great controversy - from players’ unions and commentators alike - especially when a commissioner invokes the “in the best interest of the sport” clause of the professional sports league’s constitution and bylaws. The Essay then contextualizes such league discipline in criminal punishment theory - juxtaposing punishment norms in public law with incentives and rationales for discipline in professional sports - and analyzes the legal and cultural limitations to this approach.

Keywords: professional sports, criminal, leagues, athletes, punishment theory

JEL Classification: K14, K19, K29, K42

Suggested Citation

Kim, Janine Young and Parlow, Matthew J., Off-Court Misbehavior: Sports Leagues and Private Punishment (August 6, 2009). Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 99, No. 3, 2009; Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 09-29. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1444983

Janine Young Kim

Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law ( email )

One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866-1099
United States

Matthew J. Parlow (Contact Author)

Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law ( email )

One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866-1099
United States
714.628.2649 (Phone)

Paper statistics

Downloads
555
Rank
38,677
Abstract Views
1,886