Blog Entry

Does retired players case offer legal loophole?

Posted on: March 29, 2011 1:08 pm
Posted by Will Brinson

As if having every single current NFL player suing the league wasn't awkward enough, a group of retired players have also filed a class-action complaint against the NFL and its 32 clubs, with the express purpose of pushing the Brady v. NFL bandwagon even further down the tracks.

But this lawsuit is actually worse for the NFL than it would seem based on the named plaintiffs -- Carl Eller, Priest Holmes, Obafemi Ayanbadejo and Ryan Collins -- listed on the lawsuit, a copy of which we've seen.

That's because the class involved in this class action is comprised of not just retired players but also "... (b) potential rookie professional football players who, as of March 11, 2011 to the date of final judgment in this action and the determination of any appeal therefrom, have not previously commenced negotiation with any NFL club concerning employment and have not been selected in any NFL College Draft."

Or, in non-fancy parlance: rookies.
NFL Labor

Of course, that may not seem to matter all that much, as you'd think that the rookies are already involved in the Brady v. NFL lawsuit. But not so fast, my friend. According to the attorney representing the players in this matter, Michael Hausfeld, this case could circumvent the NFL's claim that the decertification of the union is a "sham."

"The owners say the union has unlawfully decertified and the union should be ordered to reconstitute and forced to sit at the bargaining table," Hausfeld told Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports. "If you look at the last CBA, it represents the rookies that have been drafted and the rookies who have begun negotiating with teams."

It's a loophole, and there's absolutely no guarantee it'll work, but Hausfeld, as Wetzel notes, seems pretty convinced.

"The owners have shut down their potential employees through a concerted boycott," Hausfeld said. "[The suit is] going to avoid the main thrust of the owners’ defense and their argument that the matter should be settled by the [National Labor Relations Board] not in the courts."

The NFL has yet to comment on the "retired players lawsuit," but it stands to reason that they won't immediately decide to fold up camp and just cave to the NFLPA's desire to life the lockout.

Because, after all, the NFL's already pretty vested in their current position. It's way past highly unlikely they'll reverse course at this point.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 9, 2012 11:11 am

Does retired players case offer legal loophole?

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 4, 2012 12:01 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 12:39 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 1:09 pm

Does retired players case offer legal loophole?

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Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: March 29, 2011 6:29 pm

Does retired players case offer legal loophole?

It seems to me that the perspective players would have a heavy burden to meet to even be heard in our federal court system.  Let me preface by saying that I am huge football (49er) fan!  If the NFL doesn't come to some agreement I will cancel my cable package (comcast).  The reasons I believe this will fail are as follows:

1)  To have your case heard in federal court you have to have "standing", or so I've read.  This means you must be able to show that the defendant(s) caused a plaintiff injury by thier action.  Here, there is no entitlement to even be labeled a plaintiff, at least before signing an NFL contract, to play in the NFL.  Although I support thier cause, I cannot see any where any collegiatae athlete has become entitled to an NFL job.  If such a player exists, whether projected a first round pick or not, his school, coach, agent and probably parents have some explaining to do. 

2)  For any lawsuit to prevail, whether in the state(s) or federal court system, you must be able to show some sort of actual damages.  Here, no collegiate athlete can prove any losses.  No guarantee exists that you will be drafted and/or sign a contract with an NFL team.  Although we all know that most top prospects eventually sign contracts, I am of the belief and HOPE that the federal court system does not render decisions based on facts like "he had a great senior season".

I think the defense moves the court to dismiss for lack of standing and the judges grants the motion.  A few rational thoughts in closing:

1)  Who ever the "potential" NFL player is that signed on to be a plaintiff in this suit better have one hell of a degree because he aint getting hired,

2)  Hopefully all these D*** Weeds will realize that we need football on Sunday afternoons and Monday nights, at least those of us who are married, and

3)  Bring back Eddie Debartlo!!!! All football, and especially Niner fans, would have things back to the way they should be!  Niner fan Out...

Since: Apr 14, 2007
Posted on: March 29, 2011 2:40 pm

Does retired players case offer legal loophole?

So the former CBA addressed rookies that had begun negotiation, or had been drafted, and the latest bogus lawsuit is trying to include people that have never been drafted or negotiated?

So we can all sue employers that we've never attempted to gain employment from?

I think you need to use the edit button Mr. Shill for the Players.

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