NFL Sued by Former Athletes over Pro Bowl Promotionals

World Sports Alumni Inc. (WSA), a sports marketing firm, is suing the NFL and a chapter of the National Football League Alumni Association (NFLAA) over the use of former athletes’ names and pictures in promotional advertisements without their permission. WSA alleges that the NFL and NFLAA depicted retired NBA player Nick Anderson, retired NFL player Brandon Meriweather, and retired heavyweight boxing champion Riddick Bowe to promote the Pro Bowl events without the former athletes’ knowledge or consent. The complaint states that, in December 2017, NFLAA…
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NFL Painkiller Class Action Resurrected by 9th Circuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has reversed a lower court’s dismissal of a class action filed by former NFL players, sending the case back to federal court. The suit claims the NFL encouraged players to abuse painkillers, including opioids. In 2014, the lower court sided with the NFL, holding that the claims were preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act and the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NFL team owners and athletes. Now, however, the 9th Circuit has…
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Retired Chicago Bears Player Sues NFL Over Risk of Brain Injuries

Former Bears player Craig Steltz has brought action against the National Football League, claiming that the organization deliberately abandoned its duty to players’ health in concealing the dangers of head injuries relating to the sport. Steltz claims that under the 2006 and 2011 collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the National Football League Players Association, the NFL assumed a duty to protect the health and safety of the players within the organization, which extended to providing information about the risks to long-term injury. The…
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In Pursuit of Class Certification against EA, Retired NFL Players Cite Bette Midler

The retired NFL players suing Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) are citing an unexpected figure in their continued efforts to gain class certification: singer Bette Midler. The athletes’ action against EA began in 2010, over the company using their likeness in the video games, arguing that, while EA pays the NFL players union when featuring the names and likeness of current players, EA failed to compensate retired players in the same fashion. A federal judge recently ruled against the athletes, refusing to certify their case as…
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Kaepernick’s Grievance against the NFL to Advance

Colin Kaepernick’s case against the NFL will proceed to a full hearing, following an arbitrator’s decision on Thursday, August 30, 2018 to deny the NFL’s motion for summary judgment. The former 49ers quarterback accuses the NFL of colluding to keep him out of the league since he became a free agent in March 2017, arguing that the organization refuses to hire him because of the national anthem protests Kaepernick initiated in 2016. Now, with the case going to a full, trial-like format, some team…
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Retired NFL Players Denied Class Certification in Copyright Lawsuit Against EA

On August 17, 2018, a group of retired NFL players was denied class certification in California Federal Court for the second time. As we have previously reported, the retired NFL players claimed that EA created physically and biographically similar avatars of the former NFL players and used them in their famous Madden NFL video game. According to the former players, EA used the player’s actual positions, teams, accurately pointed to the players’ retired statuses, and EA publicized their use by coining certain features of…
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Bizarre Inside Edition Lawsuit that Involves the Murder of a Former NFL Player

On August 6, 2018, Billups P. Percy sued Inside Edition Inc. after Inside Edition allegedly used Percy’s copyrighted video of Anthony Hayes. On December 26, 2005, Percy, a Louisiana-based photojournalist, video recorded Anthony Hayes wielding a knife while surrounded by New Orleans police officers. Hayes was shot and killed by a police officer after he lunged at a police lieutenant. Percy later registered the video with the U.S. Copyright Office and he was given rights to the video as the sole owner of all “right,…
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Two Former NFL Players Dispute Rightful Ownership of Miami Property

On August 2, 2018, a judge denied an “emergency motion” requesting a temporary injunction to prevent a Miami property purportedly owned by former NFL player, Antonio Bryant, from being conveyed to a third party by another former NFL player, Chuck Sanders.  Bryant filed the motion after claiming that Sanders forged Bryant’s signature on a 2012 deed to himself, and in February 2018, inappropriately conveyed Bryant’s North Miami Beach parcel to a Pennsylvania company called DTT North LLC (“DTT”). The dispute began after Sanders made a…
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NFL Concussion Settlement Payouts Far Ahead of Schedule

As we recently reported, the district judge overseeing the NFL’s billion dollar concussion settlement has refused the NFL’s request for a special investigator to uncover potentially fraudulent claimants.  Since then, claims administrators in the settlement process have released a report indicating that over $500 million in claims had been approved for payout as of July 30, 2018, which is 8 years ahead of the 10-year, $400 million projection. Just weeks ago, counsel for the NFL conjectured that the total settlement would reach approximately $1.4…
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Judge from Deflategate Case Declines Autograph Request from Fan

On July 19, 2018, Scott Smith, an avid Sports Illustrated magazine collector, emailed U.S. District Judge Richard S. Berman requesting his autograph on the cover of the September 14, 2015 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine. According to the email, one of Smith’s lifelong passions is “collecting autographs on my covers of Sports Illustrated magazine.” According to Smith, he has the world’s largest personal collection of autographed SI magazines, about 20,000 magazines in total. His collection is allegedly well documented, he has appeared in Sports…
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