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Amateur Sports Act

Anita DeFrantz’s heels clicked softly on the concrete steps leading up to the District of Columbia courthouse. The tall white building glared down at her, reminding her how important this was, not only to her, but to the others she came to represent. She thought of her rowing team, enjoying a day of practice, about how satisfying the pull of the oar against the water was. She thought about how terrible it would be if that was taken away. Panic consumed her, and she had to take a long, calming breath before heading inside.

The courtroom was smaller than she expected, the dark reddish wood of the chairs and tables sharply contrasting the cream walls. The whole building smelled like a library, and it was as quiet as one, too. She walked down to the front of the courtroom and took her seat next to the main lawyer, a man named William Allen who was in his early forties. He greeted her with a reassuring smile. “Hello, Ms. DeFrantz! Are you ready? ” “Of course, William,” she replied with a confident smile. The judge, John Pratt, called the court to order with a hit of his gavel.

We will start by choosing the jury” -you need to add a period to the end of this sentence Choosing the jury was a painstakingly long process that was done just to make everyone even more nervous, Anita thought. Potential juror after juror was questioned and dismissed for various reasons. Some were too biased toward DeFrantz, and some toward the United States Olympic Committee. Either way, they would be dismissed only after extensive questioning. After the jury was finally chosen, the parties were asked to give opening statements. The plaintiffs went first.

William stood up to talk to the court. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my name is William Allen and I am representing plaintiffs Anita DeFrantz and 24 others. The United States’ Olympic Committee has decided with the support of the president that the Olympic team will not go to the games in Moscow. We are here today to decide whether this is truly lawful. We will provide proof in the Amateur Sports Act of 1978 that the USOC had no right to decide to boycott. I hope at the end of this trial you will agree that a boycott of the Olympics is in direct violation of the law.

Thank you. ” Grinning, William then walked back to his seat next to Anita. Anita smiled to herself. As a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, she knew that they had a decent argument against the boycott. It was possible that political motion threatening to take away her four years of hard work wouldn’t happen. She was filled with hope for the first time since the trial began. Next came the defendant’s opening statement. The main defense lawyer was a balding, portly man in his 50s named James Morris. He cleared his throat loudly before beginning his statement.

Good morning everyone. My name is James Morris and today I will be defending the United States Olympic Committee. The USOC has recently voted to boycott the Moscow games. According to International Olympic Committee regulations, the nation’s Olympic Committee is ‘the sole authority responsible for the representation of the respective countries at the Olympic Games’ With this, I hope the court will see that the boycott of the Moscow Games was not a state action, and did not give rise to an actionable claim for the infringement of the constitutional rights.

Additionally, the Amateur Sports Act shows in 36 U. S. C. S. § 374 that the United States Olympic Committee does have the right to boycott the Olympics. Thanks for your time. ” Morris returned to his seat with a smug grin. Anita rolled her eyes. It’s too early to get excited, she thought. He hadn’t won yet. After the opening statements came the longest part of the trial, the presentation of evidence. Like in the opening statements, the plaintiffs went first. This could be a devastating disadvantage, because the defense party could end up using your argument against you.

However, Anita had faith that the plaintiffs’ team of lawyers were strong enough to avoid that. One of the lawyers stepped up nervously and began explaining the plaintiffs’ primary argument, the Amateur Sports Act. Years before, Anita had been called to testify in the development of the law, and was fairly confident that the Olympic Committee was in violation of it. “The Act requires that active athletes must hold 20 percent of the voting power of any board or committee in an NGB. The Act also provides athletes with due process…” the lawyer droned on.

Everyone in the room was excited when he was replaced with one of the other lawyers on the team. As the presentation of evidence continued, Anita grew worried. The judge and jury did not seem engaged in their argument at all. The worst thing that could happen to plaintiffs in a courtroom is to have their case ignored. After all of the plaintiff’s evidence had been presented, the defense’s team began to speak. They called in multiple experts who were rigorously questioned by both parties.

Anita knew that only the best lawyers could twist the other party’s witnesses to their benefit, and was impressed with William’s talent for doing so. However, the defense team was doing a good job of getting the jury’s attention. After the majority of the defense evidence was presented, James Morris stepped up to talk. “All in all, the defendant thinks their action is justified lawfully as well as morally. The Soviets’ actions against America are terrible, and the athletes have to understand that the boycott is a small sacrifice for the greater good of this nation.

Thank you for understanding. ” Morris started walking back to his seat. Anita felt anger well up in her chest. How dare they belittle what she had worked so hard for. She stood up and words that had been held back for too long came rushing out. “The Olympics are not a ‘small sacrifice! ‘ For four years we have been working for this, and we have made huge sacrifices for our sport. We have given up college education, secure jobs, and happy families all for these games. Do not dismiss what you are doing to us as a small sacrifice for the greater good.

Remember that in doing this, you are taking away our lives. You are destroying us. ” Anita stopped for a moment and remembered where she was. The courtroom was no place for emotional outbursts. Embarrassed, she sat down. The courtroom became deafeningly silent. Judge Pratt cleared his throat awkwardly. “Moving on to the closing statements. ” William walked up to the stand and began talking, but Anita couldn’t focus on his words. Her stomach was in knots. Even though the plaintiff’s team was amazing, the defense was better. They knew just what to say to twist any evidence in their favor.

She also knew her outburst was not going to help their case at all. After both sides had concluded their case, there was a long wait for the jury to make a decision. Anita could have sworn it took years, but the jury finally came back. Judge Pratt began reading out the jury’s conclusion in a monotone voice. “Plaintiffs have moved to prevent the USOC from not sending an American team to participate in the Moscow Games. Plaintiffs allege that in preventing American athletes from competing in the Summer Olympics, defendant is in violation of the Amateur Sports Act of 1978.

The jury has found that plaintiffs have failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Accordingly, we deny plaintiffs’ claim for injunctive and declaratory relief and dismiss the action. ” They lost. Anita couldn’t believe it. Neither she or her colleagues would have the chance to do what they loved. They had all worked so hard for nothing. As anger and sadness overwhelmed her, she wished that the sacrifice made by the athletes would be acknowledged. She hoped that her voice had been heard.

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