On Thursday, December 3, 2009, Timothy Liam Epstein, Chair of the firm's Sports Law Practice Group, appeared on Good Day Chicago. During the morning program, airing on Fox Chicago, Tim discussed Tiger Woods' recent troubles associated with a motor vehicle incident outside of his Florida home and allegations of marital infidelity.
On November 27, 2009, at 2:25 a.m., Tiger Woods crashed his black Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant and tree located in his neighbor’s lawn. The world’s number one golfer suffered cuts and bruises, including lacerations to his lips and blood coming from his mouth. As a result of reports as to whether Woods' injuries were the result of the car accident or domestic abuse, allegations of Tiger's potential infidelity (he is married with two children) became headline news. At the end of the day, Woods was cited for careless driving, which carries a $164 fine and four points on his Florida driving record. No criminal charges are forthcoming and the investigation was closed as of Tuesday, December 1, 2009. While Woods will not be hailed into a court of law, his image has and will continue to judged in the court of public opinion. Legally, outside of potential marital issues, Tiger could face penalties from the PGA under its Ethics Provision, which allows the PGA to penalize Tour players for not just illegal activities, but actions that involve dishonesty and deceit. While such penalties are unlikely to come down from the PGA upon its biggest star, the PGA is within its rights to do so. Further, while Tiger's sponsors like Nike and Gatorade have publicly stated their support of Tiger in spite of the allegations, such sponsors would likely be able to have a change of heart under "morality clauses" within their respective endorsement deals.
To view the segment, please click here.
For more information on this matter, or any sports law matter, please contact Timothy Epstein at 312.894.3227.