Pelicans star Zion Williamson wins $100 million legal battle vs. ex-marketing agent
New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson just scored a huge win in court. This one is outside the hardwood floor, though, with the 20-year-old recently being granted a ruling in his favor with regards to the $100 million lawsuit filed against him by his former marketing agent.
U.S. District Court Judge Loretta C. Biggs has decided to void Williamson’s contract with Gina Ford and her firm under the premise that it failed to meet the requirements listed under the Uniform Athlete Agents Act of North Carolina.
Mark Schlabach of ESPN provides more details on the ruling:
Specifically, Biggs ruled that Williamson was a student-athlete at Duke at the time he signed the marketing agreement with Ford’s company; he had not been declared permanently ineligible by the NCAA; Ford was not a certified agent in North Carolina; the agreement did not include the required warnings under the law; and Williamson and his family communicated to Ford that they were terminating and voiding the contract.
This is an undeniably significant development in an issue that has mired Williamson’s reputation so early in his career. This win proves that Zion did not make any violations pertaining to his contract with Ford and her company.
In a statement, Williamson’s attorney shared their delight in what they believe to be the right decision:
“We are grateful that the Court invalidated the contract based on the merits of the case, in line with the clear, relevant requirements under North Carolina law,” Jeffrey S. Klein said in a statement. “The Court confirmed that actual facts matter, which hopefully will serve as a cautionary tale for unscrupulous agents looking to prey on student athletes.”
Williamson has had a strong start to the season for the Pelicans, with the 20-year-old currently putting up averages of 23.4 points (on 59.1 percent shooting), 8.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 steals in 32.6 minutes per game.