PLAYER EMPOWERMENT is the watchword of the day. Athletes are rising up and taking control of their destinies—where they play, how they earn, who shapes their narratives. But here's the thing: Power is zero sum. When players gain it, someone else loses it. And have you ever known, say, an NFL owner or NBA exec to willingly give something away? Today, the most fascinating competitions in sports aren't on the field or the court—they're the power struggles shaping everything from rosters to shoe deals to your favorite athlete's Twitter feed. Some clashes are unexpected: Who saw parents crashing the party? Others are the big fights we've been waiting for. Whether it's Rich Paul and LeBron James taking on the NBA establishment or NFL players girding for labor war, there's never been more at stake.