Industry and Marketing Research. There is much to be learned from professional and trade associations.
In order to understand the nature and functions of the Sports Lawyers Association ("SLA"), it is important to understand (i) the history and nature of sports law, (ii) how people become sports lawyers, (iii) how and why the SLA came into being, and (iv) how they first became members of the SLA. The years leading up to 1975 were bleak regarding relations between representatives of teams and those of players. Teams were aggressively preventing their athletes from engaging the services of representatives, whether lawyers or not. At least one agent, who happened to be a New York lawyer, was physically ejected by goons hired by his client's employer — the team. Several clubs absolutely refused to deal with an agent. The animosity between teams and agents had become intense and, indeed, downright dangerous.