College Athletes Finding a Voice

October 20, 2020

Virtual Forum

2 – 3 p.m. (ET) | 1 – 2 p.m. (CT) | 11 – 12 a.m. (PT)

The wave of student activism sweeping college and professional athletics has created a myriad of social, legal and communications issues for colleges and universities. However, the employment law implications should not be overlooked. Federal and state anti-discrimination, anti-retaliation and whistleblower laws, as well as the First Amendment, create a thicket of legal issues that colleges and universities must also navigate.

These movements also impact the ongoing efforts to grant employment rights to student-athletes. Not long ago, it appeared that colleges and universities had beaten back these challenges. But student-athletes’ demands on social justice issues may revive the push for employment rights or lead to further legislative interventions in the relationships between college athletes and the institutions they represent.

These sessions will be interactive to allow for productive dialogue. Please feel free to circulate amongst colleagues.


  • Michael R. Phillips (Partner, McGuireWoods)
  • DeMaurice Smith (Executive Director, National Football League Players Association)
  • Brian D. Barger (Moderator – Partner, McGuireWoods)