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Playing the Feud

Athletes and their families take one another to court
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IN EARLY MAY, Teresa Earnhardt, widow of seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt Sr., filed her second federal challenge against one of her stepchildren. Over the last five years Kerry Earnhardt, Dale Sr.'s oldest son from the first of his three marriages, helped design a collection of custom homes and furniture. But when he tried to trademark the name Earnhardt Collection, Teresa asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to turn down the application. In March the government denied her challenge, so last week she filed an appeal. The Earnhardts aren't the only sports family to see their squabbles end up in court. Which are worst? We asked six SI editors about recent cases, and the survey says ...

KOBE BRYANT

In January 2013, Kobe's mother, Pamela, gave Goldin Auctions more than 100 items from his career, including high school uniforms, in exchange for $450,000. Kobe sent a cease and desist order to Goldin saying he never gave permission to sell the items. Kobe and Goldin sued each other, but Bryant settled out of court with his parents.

RYAN HOWARD

In 2013 the Phillies' 1B removed his parents, Ron and Cheryl, and twin brother, Corey, as his financial managers. His folks allegedly asked for $10 million. Corey sued for $2.7 million for unjust termination. Ryan countersued, claiming his family was conspiring to defraud him. All parties later agreed to an undisclosed settlement.

JACK JOHNSON

Despite his $30.5 million deal with the Kings in 2011, the Blue Jackets' defenseman filed for bankruptcy in '14, claiming more than $10 million in debt. Johnson alleged that his parents, Jack Sr. and Tina, borrowed more than $15 million without his knowledge. Johnson didn't sue his parents, believing he was unlikely to recover any assets.

THEY SAID IT

"I ATE A SPOONFUL. DON'T JUDGE ME."

Serena Williams

On the bite she took of her Yorkie's gourmet dog food. It made her sick but didn't knock her out of the Italian Open, which she won.

SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE

CD Palencia, a lower-level Spanish soccer team, introduced uniforms that make the players appear skinless.

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GUSGEIJO (UNIFORM)

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SAM FORENCICH/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (BRYANT)

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JON BARASH/AP (HOWARD)

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KIRK IRWIN/GETTY IMAGES (JOHNSON)

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ALESSANDRA TARANTINO/AP (WILLIAMS)