The ancients used to say ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’ and I think many people can get behind that. The relationship between mental health and physical health intuitively seems obvious. For starters, during and immediately after exercise, the human brain releases endorphins, chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine that literally make us feel good. So, it would make sense that regular good exercise can help stay away from mood disorders and maintain a healthy mental state. But what about athletes?
Money Smart Athlete Blog
On the MSA blog last week we discussed the recent events involving Naomi Osaka, her mental health and her decision to withdraw from the French Open. Mental health has long been overlooked in sports and in certain cases even repressed. Mental health issues and illnesses do not fit in the yes-can-do, celebratory and electrifying environment that characterizes sports. However, athletes are constantly under the spotlight, working hard week in and week out on the pitch, while trying to keep in touch with their fans and show their philanthropic face outside of it.
Winner of 28 Olympic medals, swimmer Michael Phelps is one of a number of star athletes who has publicly discussed in recent years his struggle with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. NBA star basketball player DeMar DeRozan has also talked about the importance of addressing mental health issues, as all athletes are first of all humans. Gymnast Aly Raisman has described her efforts to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder after being the victim of sexual abuse.
The electronic gaming industry has grown dramatically in recent years as an alternative to other sports and, in many countries around the world, eSports is already recognized as an official sport which clearly illustrates its dynamic. In 2020, and in spite of the pandemic, the revenue of the eSports industry amounted to $947.1 million. According to analysts, the global revenue of eSports will reach and exceed $1 billion by 2021.
The online gaming industry is huge. There are currently over 2 billion e-gamers globally, generating approximately $1 billion per year for the industry. Additionally, a good amount of money is derived by purchases that the players make when playing, such as when they buy in-game currency or in-game items.
Most people are now familiar with eSports and people younger than 40 have almost definitely had a discussion regarding eSports with friends or acquaintances. When eSports started gaining traction, the very inclusion of the word “sports” in the context of videogaming was enough to lead to mockery and sarcasm. Generally, discussions orbiting around eSports spark controversy. The success of eSports lies—partly—on the fact that the industry tapped into a market that simply did not exist before, as gamers are not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of sports professionals or fans. Whether you love it or hate it, it does not matter anymore; eSports is on the up and up and one needs only turn to the numbers to understand the extent of its success.
Over the last decade, the eSports industry has experienced phenomenal growth, leading people to question the conventional definition of sports, one that assumes the involvement of physicality. In short, one side argues that eSports do not necessarily constitute a sport because they lack the physical aspect that we’re used to seeing in sports such as basketball, football and others. On the contrary, the other side suggests that eSports, through their competitive nature, as well as their ability to entertain, should definitely be included in the bucket of sports. In this article, we don’t seek to take part in this debate but rather explain why eSports, through their financial outlook and popularity, are here to stay.
Video games were considered a waste of time by the majority of parents who saw their children spending an excessive number of hours in front of a screen, with a controller in their hands, instead of studying for school. Nowadays, there are people who quit their 9 to 5 jobs to become professional gamers and earn up to six figures per year. This form of competitive video gaming, where teams or individuals compete against each other, mostly in online tournaments, to earn prize money or other benefits, is called Esports.
Last June the Intercollegiate Athlete Compensation and Rights Bill was signed into Law in Florida, by the state’s Governor Rick DeSantis. Florida’s move is the latest development of a precedent set by California, but certainly not the last as numerous states have similar bills in the legislative queue. What these laws do is simple: allow college athletes to profit from the use of their name, image, and likeness. Such laws are a direct assault against the so-called NCAA amateurism criterion which prohibits athletes from doing just that.
With five states enacting legislation on the use of name, image and likeness rights (NIL) by NCAA student athletes, it is imperative that student athletes start exploring how they can use this groundbreaking legislation, as best as possible.
The battle over athletes’ rights to profit from the use of their image – The Story, The Events and The Aftermath
College sports have been part of the American reality since the late 19th century when the Yale rowing team competed against the Harvard rowing team to what marked the beginning of an era: the era of college sports. Nearly 170 years have passed since then, but one thing remained the same, college athletes have never been able to use their image rights to benefit monetarily, up until recently.
When in 2015 a handful of football players tried to unionise and were rejected by the National Labour Relations Board, Donald Remy, NCAA’s chief legal officer applauded the decision and argued that: “Student-athletes are not employees, and their participation in college sports is voluntary”.
The European Union (EU) has for years now been designing and implementing laws and policies that aim to prevent the use of the Union’s financial markets for money laundering, a process through which illegally obtained money are put through various transactions and deals that can eventually make the money appear as they were obtained from legitimate sources.
In a previous piece we pointed out the legacies of infamous drug lords such as Pablo Escobar and the Rodriguez brothers in the world of football. It is not necessary, however, to send our imagination in pursuit of Netflix to the depths of South America in order to examine the relationship between criminals—money launderers to be precise— and the sport industry.
In previous editions of the MSA blog, we have addressed corruption in sports, but this month we have decided to narrow it down to a very specific type that we believe deserves special attention. Corruption comes in different forms and can be found on all levels of the sports world on a local, national, institutional and international level.
Money laundering is a hot topic on the global financial and political agenda right now, and the fight against it has become increasingly important in a world where governments are struggling to keep their fiscal balances in check, and reverse the rising incidence of tax evasion, drug trafficking and consumption, and criminality in general.