Dolphins Owner Proposes New Deal to Fund Stadium Renovations

Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross has come up with a new proposal to fund the $400 million renovations to Sun Life Stadium.  Last year, Ross asked for government assistance to fund nearly all of the cost.  However, now Ross says he is willing to privately finance the renovations if the team can stop paying property taxes on the stadium. Ross has been pushing for government assistance since acquiring 95% ownership of the Dolphins in 2009.  That push was heightened in 2012 when Miami was in…
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Updated: The Wells Report Could Mean Big Changes in NFL Workplace Policies; Two Fins Coaches Fired

On February 14th, attorney Ted Wells of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP issued a 144-page report (commonly referred to as the Wells report) to the National Football League concerning the alleged harassment of Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin. On October 28, 2013, Martin abruptly walked off the team after a lunch room joke, which he says was the final straw after enduring nearly a year of harassment from his teammates. Martin checked himself into a hospital for mental health help. Amidst bullying…
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Bengals Cheerleaders File Class Action Against Team Over Compensation

On February 11, 2014, Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader Alexa Brenneman filed a class-action lawsuit against the team, accusing the organization of failing to pay their cheerleaders minimum wage.  Brenneman’s suit claims that she was paid only $855 for her work during the 2013 football season, yet worked over 300 hours – meaning that she was making roughly $2.85 per hour.  The minimum wage in Ohio is $7.85 per hour. The Oakland Raiders were recently hit with a similar suit; Raiders’ cheerleaders filed an action in January…
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Fan Brings Class Action Suit Against NFL Over Super Bowl Ticket Price

NFL fans know they are going to have to shell out big bucks if they want to go to the Super Bowl.  At the time this was written, tickets were priced at a minimum of $2,500 on ticket resale websites.  Despite getting a “deal” and only paying $2,000 a piece for his tickets, Josh Finkelman filed a class action lawsuit against the NFL in a New Jersey federal court on January 6th, 2014. Finkelman alleges the NFL violated New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act by limiting…
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Vikings Hire Two Top “Players” to Investigate Ex-Punter’s Allegations

The Minnesota Vikings have retained former Minnesota Supreme Court chief justice Eric Magnuson and former Justice Department attorney Chris Madel to investigate ex-punter Chris Kluwe’s allegations that he was fired for supporting same-sex marriage. On January 2, 2013, Kluwe published an article on Deadspin outlining the time leading up to his release from the team.  He discussed speaking out in support same-sex marriage and the response of team employees.  Kluwe said he is “pretty confident” he was fired after eight years as the Vikings’ punter…
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Will It Soon Be Lights Out for the Black Out Rule?

Exciting news was announced for sports fans living in towns with fluctuating home game attendance this week.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it is reviewing the need for the “blackout” rule. The nearly 40 year old rule prevents satellite and cable companies from televising NFL Events in a team’s home market if the game does not sell out.  The blackout rule was developed when teams earned a significant portion of their revenue from ticket sales.  The idea was implemented in 1975 to encourage fans…
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Concerns Raised Over Attorney Compensation in NFL Concussion Litigation Settlement

Around four months ago it was announced that over 4,500 NFL player plaintiffs and the League reached a $765 million settlement resolving the ongoing multi-district concussion litigation in Pennsylvania District Court.  In brief, the plaintiffs alleged that the NFL intentionally concealed the long-term risks of head injuries and concussions and their role in later-life cognitive decline. However, U.S. District Court Judge Anita Brody for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has yet to approve the settlement agreement, partly due to issues concerning attorney compensation.  It was…
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Fines Drop, but Study Finds Dangerous Hits Still Prevalent in NFL

A recent study by the AP analyzed the rate at which NFL players experience dangerous hits by reviewing 549 penalties called through the first 11 weeks of the 2013 football season.  It found that over the first 162 games of the year, 156 of the penalties studied involved contact with the head and neck.  Statistically, this means that nearly once per game, an NFL player receives a blow to the head or neck that could have serious health and/or career consequences.  The numbers also revealed…
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Ex-Players Sue Kansas City Chiefs Over Concussions

The Kansas City Chiefs are the latest target of concussion litigation.  On December 3, 2013, five former members of the NFL team sued for damages related to head injuries. The case was filed in a Missouri state court on Tuesday by Alexander Cooper, Joseph Phillips, Kevin Porter, Leonard Griffin, and Christopher Martin.  It is the first concussion lawsuit filed against an NFL team, rather than the league. The players allege similar complaints to those in the suit settled earlier this year.  They are suing on…
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NFL Just Can’t Outrun the Concussion Lawsuits

No matter how hard the NFL tries to get away from the concussion lawsuits, they won’t go away. Most recently, former Chicago Bears quarterback Bobby Douglass, and former Northwestern player, John Cornell, are suing the NFL and helmet manufacture Riddell. On November 4, 2013, the two former players filed suit alleging concussion-related injuries resulting from their time on the field. Douglass, 66, was quarterback for the Chicago Bears from 1969 to 1975. He later went on to play for the San Diego Chargers, New Orleans…
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