NFL, MLB, and NHL Players’ Associations Sue Pittsburgh Over “Unconstitutional” Athletes Fee

The city of Pittsburgh is being challenged for a fee it is charging  nonresident professional athletes who play for Pittsburgh teams. The NHL Players’ Association, MLB Players’ Association, and NFL Players’ Association, along with baseball player Jeff Francoeur and hockey players Kyle Palmieri and Scott Wilson, have sued the city of Pittsburgh. The city currently imposes a three percent general revenue income fee on professional athletes who reside out of state. Athletes who live in the city, however, pay only a one percent fee. Pittsburgh…
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Browns Rushed to Identify Beer-Pouring Fan, Misidentified Fan Files Suit

The Tennessee Titans faced off against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio on September 8, 2019. As customary, a group of Browns fans sat in the area behind the home team’s goal post, dubbed the Dawg Pound. The Browns were trailing the Titans and, late in the fourth quarter, Baker Mayfield’s pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Titans cornerback, Malcolm Butler. Fellow Titan, Logan Ryan, decided to jump into the Dawg Pound while celebrating Butler’s pick six. While celebrating,…
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NFL Running Backs Could Break from Players’ Union

On August 9, 2019, a group called the International Brotherhood of Professional Running Backs (IBPRB) filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) asking that NFL running backs be severed from the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and formed into a new union. According to the IBPRB, NFL running backs “have unique career structures; and the current one-size fits all [approach to players contracts] is inappropriate.” The petition looms over the ongoing talks between the NFLPA and the NFL over a new collective bargaining…
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Series on the Alliance of American Football: The Fall of the AAF

This is the second part of a two-part series chronicling the rise and fall of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). In the first part, we delved into the unprecedented growth of the AAF, much of which was based on an unsustainable dream to bring a successful professional football league to the United States. In this part, we analyze the ultimate collapse of the AAF, a reality of insurmountable debts and a lack of supporting investors. The Failed Hail Mary On April 2, 2019,…
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Lane Johnson Fights to Keep Lawsuit Alive

On November 19, 2018, Philadelphia Eagles right tackle, Lane Johnson, wrote two letters to Judge Sullivan regarding his lawsuit against the NFL and the NFL Players Association (“NFLPA”). As we have previously reported, in 2016, Johnson was hit with a 10-game drug suspension for his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs. In response, Johnson filed a lawsuit against the NFLPA, arguing that the NFLPA’s inactions caused his suspension. Specifically, Johnson sued the NFL and the NFLPA for allegedly failing to follow the collective bargaining…
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Arbitrator Denies Eric Reid’s Grievance Against Bengals

On October 23, 2018, it was announced that an arbitrator denied the National Football League Players Association’s (NFLPA) grievance against the Cincinnati Bengals. As we have previously reported, on July 11, 2018, the NFLPA filed a grievance against the NFL over its national anthem policy. The policy, announced in May 2018, instructed players to either stand during the anthem or to not come out of the locker room until the anthem is over. In response, the NFLPA filed several non-injury grievances “on behalf…
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NFL Players Association Files Grievance Over League Anthem Policy

On Tuesday, July 11, the NFL Player Association (NFLPA) filed a grievance against the league over its new national anthem policy. The policy was announced in May 2018 after a wave of peaceful on-field protests by current players during the past NFL season. The players were protesting police brutality towards the African-American community as well as systematic racism. Nevertheless, the players and league itself received criticism and outrage from President Donald Trump and other conservatives over the player’s decision to protest by kneeling during the…
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NFL and NFLPA Move to Stop Former Agent’s Antitrust Claim

On February 5, 2018, the NFL, and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), filed a motion to dismiss an antitrust suit brought by former sports agent James Dickey. As we have previously covered, Dickey accused the NFL and the NFLPA of stifling competition by implementing a rule called the “Three Year Rule” to keep new agents out of the NFL. In order for an agent to represent players the must be certified. To be certified, agents must negotiate at least one NFL team contract every…
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Former Agent Counters NFL, NFLPA with Antitrust Suit After Decertification

On November 21, 2017, former NFL agent and lawyer James Dickey accused the NFL, the NFL Management Council, and the NFL Players Association of stifling competition by implementing a rule in 2002 to keep new agents out of the industry. The rule, which Dickey refers to as an unreasonable artificial barrier and which is enforced by the NFLPA, requires agents to negotiate at least one NFL team deal for every three year period in order to stay certified to represent NFL players. “The so-called three-year…
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Ezekiel Elliott Gets Hail Mary; Set to Play on Sunday

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals granted the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) emergency motion for a temporary order blocking Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension. The order blocks the six-game suspension for domestic violence that Elliott has faced all season and will allow Elliott to play in Sunday’s (November 5, 2017) game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Second Circuit Judge granted Elliott’s request to stay his suspension and the issue will be referred to the next available three-judge panel to expedite the appeal process. The National Football…
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