Category Archives: NFL

Start ‘Em Up: NFLPA Launches Business Accelerator

On December 6, 2016, the National Football League Players Association launched the OneTeam Collective, a business incubator that will help drive innovative sports-related companies’ growth. This effort was initiated alongside six other founding partners: Harvard Innovation Lab, Intel, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, LeadDog Marketing Group, Madrona Venture Group, and the Sports Innovation Lab. OneTeam will acquire equity stakes in new sports-related startups in exchange for the licensing and content rights of NFL players. Generally, companies like Nike or EA Sports must shell out a…

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NFL Takes its Turn, Asks High Court to Not Review Concussion Settlement

A few weeks ago, it was the players. Now, the National Football League is asking the Supreme Court to not reject a deal between the league and roughly 20,000 former players dealing with systemic injuries of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The Third Circuit Court of Appeals expressly approved a settlement that was expected to provide the two certified classes with more than $900 million of relief. The approval of the settlement, authorized earlier this year, was met with resistance. A group of players petitioned the…

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NFL Hit with New CTE Lawsuit in Southern District of Florida

The latest in a string of head injury lawsuits to hit the National Football League was recently filed on November 21, 2016 in federal court in the Southern District of Florida. As awareness of the long-term head injuries arises, so does litigation against professional sports teams in recent years with especially high-profile cases brought against the NFL. In this most recent iteration, 38 named former NFL players have sued on behalf of a group of 141 retired players seeking workers’ compensation benefits for chronic traumatic…

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No New Stadium in San Diego … For Now

One of the less polarizing takeaways from this election cycle was the rejection of a publicly-funded stadium initiative by the residents of San Diego. On Election Day, voters defeated the proposed six percent hotel room tax increase that would have aided in the funding of the venue. For now, the Chargers are focusing on football, and any decision about relocating elsewhere will be made after the NFL season concludes. The club wanted to build a new stadium in the city of San Diego — a…

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Native American Groups File Brief in Support of Trademark Office’s Ban on Disparaging Trademarks

On November 16, 2016, Native American organizations, including the National Congress of American Indians, filed a brief of amici curiae in support of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO) ban on offensive and disparaging trademarks. The statute at issue before the Supreme Court is Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1052(a), which provides that no trademark will be refused registration because of content unless, inter alia, the trademark “[c]onsists of . . .matter[s] which may disparage . . .…

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Lead Block: NFL Teams Rally to Pre-empt Jerry Jones and Jim Irsay Deposition Testimony

All 23 National Football League (NFL) teams are rallying behind two of their most notorious owners: Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, and Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts. In a letter written to U.S. District Judge William Alsup, the teams asked that Jones and Irsay be excused from giving deposition testimony in a case involving alleged wide-scale painkiller abuse. Specifically, the teams want a protective order imposed that would “at least [defer]” the two owners from giving deposition testimony. The teams are…

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Concerns Over Efficacy of Historic CTE Settlement Reach the Supreme Court

Major fault-lines are coming to the fore in one of the most high-profile class action lawsuits dealing with the NFL and players affected by a condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Earlier this month, a group of plaintiffs requested the Supreme Court of the United States refuse to review a pair of appeals, submitted by other plaintiffs, challenging the efficacy of an April 2015 settlement. Specifically, the appeals focus on the argument that the current settlement will not be “enough” for former players with…

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Boston University Brain Bank Confirms Kevin Turner Died of ALS

On November 3, 2016, a Boston University researcher confirmed that former NFL player Kevin Turner died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. The statement was made in an effort to clarify conflicting media reports, as diagnoses of both ALS and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, can simultaneously be correct. First, neuropathologist Ann McKee concluded that she stands by her initial discovery that CTE caused Turner’s fatal neurological disorder, describing her findings as “the best circumstantial evidence we will ever get that this ALS-type of motor…

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DeMeco Ryans Bring Lawsuit Against NFL and Houston Texans for Achilles Injury

DeMeco Ryans, a standout linebacker for the University of Alabama and former Houston Texan and Philadelphia Eagle, recently brought suit against the National Football League, his former team, and multiple entities stemming from a 2014 Achilles tendon injury. Ryans, the defensive MVP of the 2006 Cotton Bowl and defensive Rookie of the Year after being selected first in the second round of the 2006 draft, played for the Texans from 2006-2011 and from 2012-2015 with the Eagles. While playing for the Eagles in Houston against…

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Another Headache for the NFL and Riddell

On Tuesday, October 4, 2016, helmet maker Riddell Inc. and the NFL were sued by more than 50 former football players and families of deceased players in a new lawsuit in Louisiana Federal Court. The proposed class action alleges that the NFL made “material representations” that several brain conditions such as early-onset dementia, memory loss, and ALS, were not caused by the players’ time in the NFL and the NFL failed to protect its players. The suit further alleges that the NFL was aware of…

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