*HBO has won a defamation lawsuit filed over a 2009 episode of “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel.”
The segment dealt with child labor in India and featured children stiching Mitre soccer balls. Mitre Sports International sued, claiming its reputation as a leading advocate against child labor was damaged.
The trial lasted a month, according to The Hollywood Reporter, but it took the jury less than six hours to clear HBO of wrongdoing. The jury decided that HBO wasn’t grossly irresponsible in its report.
HBO says in a statement, “We are delighted with the jury’s decision, which confirms what we have said since the beginning of this legal proceeding in the fall of 2008: this case was without merit and the Real Sports reporting was unimpeachable. We couldn’t be prouder of the Real Sports franchise and the award-winning work done over the past 20 years. We are grateful to the jury for their careful consideration of the evidence.”
We asked Gumbel in January what he thought about the state of sports journalism today: