Zion Williamson’s attorneys want a federal judge in North Carolina to determine that a marketing firm that has sued the Pelicans rookie for $ 100 million never had a valid contract with him.
Prime Sports Marketing and its president Gina Ford demand compensation for breach of contract from Williamson and his current representatives at the Creative Artists Agency. The player withdrew from a deal with Prime Sports before becoming the first overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft.
The motion was filed this week by John Wester, Williamson’s attorney, in federal district court in Winston-Salem. It focuses on the North Carolina Uniform Athlete Agents Act.
That legal framework seeks to protect amateur athletes from agents trying to take advantage of their lack of experience. Requires agents to be registered with the state.
Likewise, it orders that the contracts contain a warning for athletes, so that they are aware that they renounce their amateur eligibility and have 14 days to cancel the agreement.
In a memo to support his motion, Wester argued that Prime Sports’ contract with Williamson did not include those warnings, which should appear “visible, capitalized and bold.”
Wester also claims that Ford, who was Prime Sports’ primary contact with Williamson and his family, was not registered in North Carolina.
“These statutes recognize the vulnerability of young athlete-students, and attempt to assist in their transition to professional sports by preventing manipulative and advantageous behaviors of agents that make them their prey, taking advantage of their inexperience and that of their families in the industry” Wester wrote.
Ford’s attorneys filed documents earlier this month alleging that Williamson “engaged in conduct that made him … ineligible to remain a student-athlete,” before the player met with the plaintiff to discuss contracts. sponsorship.
In theory, the claim would make the arguments regarding the Uniform Sportsmen’s Agents Law debatable, although no evidence has been presented to support that argument.