May 12, 2022

2022 Sports Lawyers Association Conference

Sports Law 'The Ocho': Nontraditional Sports Careers and Legal Issues

Atlanta, GA


Patrick Reilly joined a panel on May 12 at the 2022 Sports Lawyers Association Conference, presenting “Sports Law 'The Ocho': Nontraditional Sports Careers and Legal Issues” about breaking into the sports industry. Other members of the panel were in-house counsel from Enterprise Holdings and the Women’s Tennis Association, and lawyers from Vela Wood, Lewis Brisbois and Oakhust Legal.

Inspired by the 2004 movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, sports television network ESPN has actualized ESPN8 or “The Ocho” by broadcasting a full day of nontraditional sports more or less annually since 2017.

After nearly two years of virtual events, the SLA Annual Conference took place May 12–14 at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, designed around the theme, "Sports as a Platform to Elevate Inclusion." We had outstanding conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion.

"Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging are core values of the Sports Lawyers Association (SLA). We stand against any conduct that conflicts with these values. Recently, voting rights legislation was passed in Georgia that imposes significant obstacles to voting, making it harder to access the right to vote, especially for African Americans and the elderly. As a result of this legislation, SLA leadership -- convened to discuss whether the currently scheduled 2022 SLA Annual Conference in Atlanta should be moved to another location. After careful consideration of all options and potential impacts, we have decided to keep the 2022 Annual Conference in Atlanta. We will come to Georgia and we will bring our values with us. We believe that the SLA can have a much greater voice and impact by keeping the Conference in Atlanta than we can have by leaving (and leaving the very people who most need our advocacy). Specifically, the SLA will: (i) contribute to and support the local economy, (with particular focus on utilizing minority-owned businesses and services); (ii) take action in the community to help combat systemic injustices, with particular focus on voting; and (iii) make philanthropic donations to organizations in Georgia with a view towards providing opportunity and contributing to sustainable social change. The theme of our 2022 Annual Conference in Atlanta will be diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging enabling us to focus on and address the very issues raised by the Georgia voting rights legislation, and discuss what we — as a sports law community — can and should do to prevent and/or combat systemic social injustices."


Atlanta Marriott Marquis
265 Peachtree Center Ave. NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

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