ELI5, how can Athletes be fined for misconduct?


How can you fine an athlete (by sports courts) money and what would happen if they don’t pay up, how do those courts have more jurisdiction over those people than general courts?

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It’s part of their employment contract, which includes signing on to all the rules of the organization. You can sign a contract for darn near anything as long as it’s not actively criminal. That includes agreeing to act a certain way and pay a fee if you don’t.

If they don’t pay up, the remedies will also be outlined in that contract. They may be sued in civil court, have pay witheld, be prevented from playing, maybe have their contract terminated in extreme cases, or various other things. It just depends on the contract in question.

If you compete professionally in a sport, you pay for the privilege of participating in the competitions. When you pay, you enter a contract where you agree to uphold a specified level of conduct as long as the competition is relevant.

When you compete professionally, you are often put forward for competition by a national, specialised sports foundation/association. And granted allowance to compete professionally in the sport by an international sport-specific foundation/association. Both of these impose code-of-conduct upon you to be willing to endorse your participation.

Somewhat simplified, you sign a contract that says that you are volunteering antidoping samples. And that you will uphold a certain “media standard” and so on. And that you agree to pay fines to the foundation/association if you fail to stay in line.

If they demand fines from you, and you refuse to pay them…well…then your career is over. They will never forget.

The players have a legit union contract with the league that lays out all sorts of requirements surrounding substance abuse, pay, and their conduct on and off the field. That’s how you get suspensions for marijuana and Marshawn Lynch showing up to interviews saying [“I’m just here so I won’t get fined.”](https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2344416-marshawn-lynch-at-super-bowl-media-day-im-here-so-i-wont-get-fined) or [“Thank you for asking.”](https://www.businessinsider.com/marshawn-lynch-thanks-presser-2014-12)

In the USA (at least) professional athletes have a union, called a players association, which negotiates an agreement, a contract, with the sports league called a Collective Bargaining Agreement, or CBA. If you are in a union at your workplace then you probably have a CBA as well, and the concept is the same.

That CBA sets out a number of aspects of players contracts and how players and teams and the league interact. These are things that you’d think of, such as the minimum salary, maximum contract length, salary cap, and things like that. One of the main aspects of a CBA (for athletes and regular unions) is discipline. So the CBA will set out things like what kind of punishments the league can give out, when they can give them out, how big can they be, and things like that.

If a player is (properly) fined they have to pay because part of their contract is them agreeing to the disciplinary procedures in the CBA. So if the CBA says “you can fine a player up to $5,000 for a flagrant foul” the player has agreed to that when he signed his contract. If there is a dispute about any kind of penalty or fine or how it is applied then the player can usually challenge that penalty or fine in some way that is laid out in the CBA.

TL;DR: Because they agreed to it as part of their contract