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Physical Activity Clauses Can Void Athlete Contracts

Author: Scarinci Hollenbeck|June 18, 2015

Could a Ski Vacation Really Void an Athlete’s Contract?

Physical Activity Clauses Can Void Athlete Contracts

Could a Ski Vacation Really Void an Athlete’s Contract?

In all four major sports leagues in the U.S., player contracts often include physical activity clauses that explain which activities athletes are restricted from engaging in to prevent off-field injuries.

These physical activity clauses were brought into focus during the most recent NFL season, when New England Patriots player Chandler Jones and his brother, UFC fighter, Jon Jones, discussed fighting in a charitable mixed martial arts event.

The football player wanted to face his older brother in a fight to prove that he could beat the UFC star all the while raising money for a good cause. The problem with the plan was that if they had followed through with the fight, it could have voided Chandler Jones’ NFL contract.

Preventing Injury

Physical activities that put athletes’ bodies at risk, by extension, also leave their teams’ fortunes in danger. If the Jones brothers had fought and Chandler had, say, broken an arm, that would be a substantial blow for the Patriots, both financially and competitively. For this reason, many athletes’ contracts include stipulations that either generally explain that the individual should avoid risky activities such as skiing, parachuting out of an airplane or boxing. Others specifically name which activities the athletes should avoid.

An example of an NFL player’s contract, posted by Marquette University, contains one of these clauses preventing athletes from engaging in risky activities. The stipulation notes that the individual may not engage in any football activities other than games and practices involving the team he plays for. Additionally, it explains that he may not engage in any off-field activity “which may involve a significant risk of personal injury.”

Any athlete who is concerned that his or her contracts include similar stipulations should consult an attorney with knowledge of professional sports agreements.

Physical Activity Clauses Can Void Athlete Contracts

Author: Scarinci Hollenbeck

In all four major sports leagues in the U.S., player contracts often include physical activity clauses that explain which activities athletes are restricted from engaging in to prevent off-field injuries.

These physical activity clauses were brought into focus during the most recent NFL season, when New England Patriots player Chandler Jones and his brother, UFC fighter, Jon Jones, discussed fighting in a charitable mixed martial arts event.

The football player wanted to face his older brother in a fight to prove that he could beat the UFC star all the while raising money for a good cause. The problem with the plan was that if they had followed through with the fight, it could have voided Chandler Jones’ NFL contract.

Preventing Injury

Physical activities that put athletes’ bodies at risk, by extension, also leave their teams’ fortunes in danger. If the Jones brothers had fought and Chandler had, say, broken an arm, that would be a substantial blow for the Patriots, both financially and competitively. For this reason, many athletes’ contracts include stipulations that either generally explain that the individual should avoid risky activities such as skiing, parachuting out of an airplane or boxing. Others specifically name which activities the athletes should avoid.

An example of an NFL player’s contract, posted by Marquette University, contains one of these clauses preventing athletes from engaging in risky activities. The stipulation notes that the individual may not engage in any football activities other than games and practices involving the team he plays for. Additionally, it explains that he may not engage in any off-field activity “which may involve a significant risk of personal injury.”

Any athlete who is concerned that his or her contracts include similar stipulations should consult an attorney with knowledge of professional sports agreements.

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