Friday, June 15, 2012

Retired NFL Veterans Antitrust Lawsuit Dismissed by Federal Court

Named plaintiffs included crusty defensive tackle Diron Talbert and wide receiver Gene Washington (though not clear if it is the Gene Washington of former Viking fame or the Gene Washington from the 49ers). The basic claim is that the NFL is engaging in unreasonable restraints of trade (antitrust violations) by virtue of not allowing the former footballers to receive any royalties in connection with the use of their images and likeness on NFL film and other footage wherein NFL and team logos/marks appeared.  (Not surprisingly, there are few if any of images where this NFL property was absent.) The Court was not persuaded by the former players' argument and without much effort dismissed the case. It does seem to me that in terms of reaching the appropriate end result, this is an issue for the players association to take up in the next round of collective bargaining discussions. There are real dollars here and the formers players should receive some compensation.


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