Ed. note: This new column is about sports and the law. You can read the introductory installment here.

It wasn’t until law school that I realized adult life was one long series of birthday dinners. There was one every week it seemed. And at one birthday dinner in particular, I gave a speech that would haunt me for the rest of my law school career. Like an STD.

It was somebody’s birthday and we were eating Mexican food. And I was stationed at one end of the extra-long tables near a few friends and acquaintances. Several beers into the meal, I loudly steered the conversation towards a discussion of herpes. I’m not really sure why I did this. I think I had read something on the intertubes that day. At any rate, I told my end of the table that herpes was way more commonplace than they thought, and that the effect of the disease was far less dire than they thought. That, sure, some cases were worse than others, but that the puritanical myth-makers in our culture had convinced us that it was worse than death. Which it wasn’t. I was in high dudgeon, my friends. The floor was mine, and I was taking no prisoners in my attack on what I had deemed a cultural sex libel. “I’m telling you, ladies and germs. Herpes is NOT THAT BIG A DEAL!”

Not a single girl present at that dinner ever came close to having sex with me. On a related note, Kris Humphries was sued for allegedly giving a girl the herp.

Sports? Let’s talk it….

RHYMES WITH SLURPEES

Kris Humphries, née Kardashian, has had a rough go of it lately. And just when his luck had seemed to turn around, when he had settled into a damn fine Nets squad and put some distance between he and his ex-badonk, well… he gets publicly humiliated for allegedly giving a girl herpes. That girl may have allegedly caught herpes, but poor Kris Humphries can’t catch a break. Our nation’s future paper of record, TMZ, tells the tale:

According to the suit, Kris came on to Kayla, touching, kissing and dancing with her. Kayla claims he took her to his hotel and they had sex multiple times … including oral sex. The suit claims during a portion of the sexual encounter Kris did not wear a condom.

The lawsuit claims Kris did not inform Kayla he had herpes — and she claims in the suit that he did indeed have the disease.

Kayla says a week later she was diagnosed with herpes. Her symptoms included a sore throat, fever, body aches and immobilizing pain, as well as extreme vaginal irritation and painful lesions on her genitalia.

In case you’re wondering, this is all alleged to have happened before Kris and Kim Kardashian started the greatest love of all.

“So does this mean Kim Kardashian has herpes?”

Excellent question, Kanye. The evidence would suggest… well, we can’t be sure. As for Kris’s legal defense, I’ve got nothing. I’m barely a lawyer. But I do think that his best public relations move would be to murder the hell out of a bunch of dogs. It sure did distract everyone from Michael Vick’s original starring role as Ron Mexico.

WOOOSTAH

Jose Canseco was my favorite baseball player when I was 9 and 10. If he says the Worcester Tornadoes, of the Can-Am League, owe him a bunch of money for trying to pass bad checks and generally being awful, the 9-year-old me thinks they should give Jose Canseco his money. The current me just can’t stop laughing because Jose Canseco is suing the Worcester Tornadoes, of the Can-Am League, for causing emotional distress. According to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette (via Deadspin):

Mr. Canseco alleges in the suit that checks totaling $7,000 that he received after complaining about the money owed him were issued from bank accounts containing insufficient funds and bounced.

The suit further accuses the team and Mr. Breighner of misappropriating Mr. Canseco’s name and likeness, causing him severe emotional distress through threats and verbal abuse and affecting his professional reputation through false statements.

Listen, there wasn’t a bigger fan of the Bash Brothers than I was. I think I may still have a bruise on my right forearm from all the out-of-control bashing I did with it when I completed mundane tasks like throwing away garbage or talking to a cute girl at school. I bashed until I couldn’t bash anymore. I’m quickly losing the thread here.

The point is, Jose Canseco has become a pathetic, twitchy monster who sues Pro-Am teams while filing for bankruptcy. In an attempt to salvage my fond childhood memories, I have no choice but to believe that Jose’s twin brother Ozzie is behind all of this. How dare you, Ozzie. How dare you.

MINNESOTA STATE FOLLOW-UP

Last week, we ran an item in Rap Sheet Roll Call that mentioned child pornography charges being brought against the coach at Minnesota State. I made a killer Coach joke. But this week has brought a more measured discussion of just what the coach, Todd Hoffner, is being accused of. Hoffner is accused of filming his children, and the videos are described thusly:

According to the charges, two videos filmed June 26, show the kids naked. In one, which lasted about a minute, all three children drop towels and jump around nude, while Hoffner’s 8-year-old son fondles himself and his daughters bend over and spread their buttocks. In the second, which was about 10 seconds long, the sisters dance naked and their brother enters wearing only a football helmet.

A third video, the longest at about two minutes, was filmed Aug. 8. One of the girls is shown being awakened in bed and told by a male voice to “go potty.” She is followed to the bathroom with the camera focused on her flowered underwear.

Despite this description, Hoffner’s wife defends the videos as innocent home movies. And somewhere between innocent and child pornography lies the opinion of one Minnesota attorney, who says in a Minneapolic Star Tribune piece:

“Some of what is captured on video is distasteful,” said Christa Groshek, a Minneapolis defense attorney who has handled many child-pornography cases and who has reviewed the charges — two felony counts of child pornography — against Hoffner. “But that doesn’t make it criminal.”

This seems to present the issue perfectly. Can parents be prosecuted for distasteful videos featuring their children? It seems to me that parents have been capturing rather grotesque images of their children for decades now. If a child pornography charge would stop my mom from showing future girlfriends pictures of a baby me naked on a bearskin rug, I’d strongly consider such action. And what of the Coppertone girl? That iconic ad doesn’t seem far off from the images Hoffner is alleged to have captured.

Whether or not Todd Hoffner is ultimately guilty of child pornography, his case raises the question of whether our society has accepted sexual predators’ view of children as easily sexualized — whether, in trying to protect our children, we have begun to see them in the same way predators do.

RAP SHEET ROLL CALL

* As part of a lawsuit against him, two massage therapists seek to force Brett Favre to admit to sending racy pictures to Jenn Sterger. Crocs or GTFO.

* Former Chicago Bear Sam Hurd had his bond revoked for allegedly trying to buy large quantities of drugs while waiting for his trial, where he stands accused of trying to buy large quantities of drugs. Sam Hurd is a strange loop.

* The lawyer for the tennis ref accused of killing her husband argued this week that she was physically incapable of carrying out the murder. YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

QUIZ TIME

I stand before you bloody, but unbowed. Your refusal to even attempt the various quizzes I have assigned is unfortunate. I feel like you’d probably learn something. Not only about the law and sports, but about yourself. Today’s quiz features two of the most exciting feuds in all of Sports Law. First up is a feud in danger of bubbling over, one pitting Richard Posner against Antonin Scalia. The two brawlers have traded blows in the press and seem destined for a bout at Madison Square Garden. The other feud is the greatest feud of all and one that already featured a bout at Madison Square Garden, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. The following quotes are from each of these two classic feuds. Guess!

A) “The decisive objection to the quest for original meaning, even when the quest is conducted in good faith, is that judicial historiography rarely dispels ambiguity. Judges are not competent historians. Even real historiography is frequently indeterminate, as real historians acknowledge. To put to a judge a question that he cannot answer is to evoke “motivated thinking,” the form of cognitive delusion that consists of credulously accepting the evidence that supports a preconception and of peremptorily rejecting the evidence that contradicts it.”

B) “Arizona bears the brunt? Arizona is only one of the states that border Mexico, and if it succeeds in excluding illegal immigrants, these other states will bear the brunt, so it is unclear what the net gain to society would have been from Arizona’s efforts, now partially invalidated by the Supreme Court. But the suggestion that illegal immigrants in Arizona are invading Americans’ property, straining their social services, and even placing their lives in jeopardy is sufficiently inflammatory to call for a citation to some reputable source of such hyperbole. Justice Scalia cites nothing to support it.”

C) “He’s a court of appeals judge, isn’t he? He doesn’t sit in judgment of my opinions as far as I’m concerned.”

D) “It’s gonna be a thrilla, and a chilla, and a killa, when I get the Gorilla in Manila.”

Kris Humphries Sued–Woman Claims He Gave Her Herpes [TMZ]
Jose Canseco sues Worcester Tornadoes, Can-Am League [Worcester Telegram & Gazette]
Jose Canseco Is Suing The Worcester Tornadoes, Who Already Lost Their Shirts In Another Suit [Deadspin]
Mankato coach’s child-porn case tests definition of criminal [Minneapolis Star Tribune]


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