The pro football litigation explosion of 2011 continues.
Retired players who took a large chunk out of the non-asterisked NFLPA’s coffers a couple of years ago resulting from the union’s failure to try hard enough to turn marketing deals with those retired players into dollars and cents have filed another lawsuit, according to Carl Prine of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
“We’re just getting started,” former NFL defensive back Bernie Parrish said. “We’re going to finish the fight we started in 2007.”
Parrish and four other former players allege that the NFLPA* and its separate licensing operation “defrauded thousands of former players of lucrative royalties when video games, apparel companies, football-card manufacturers and others used their images.” Because Parrish reportedly was dumped from the prior lawsuit because he hadn’t signed a licensing agreement with the non-asterisked NFLPA, the specific basis of his claims is unclear. Quite possibly, Parrish and the other players will claim that the non-asterisked NFLPA permitted the names and likenesses of retired players to be misappropriated without compensation via, for example, the use of past teams in the Madden franchise with players who were intended to simulate the retired players.
“We are not a union,” NFLPA* spokesman Carl Francis told the Tribune-Review. “So as to how the case will be handled, I am not sure.”
The decertification of the union, which was done for the sole purpose of obtaining maximum leverage in the labor dispute against the NFL, should have no relevance to the lawsuit. The claims presumably don’t arise from anything the group did as a union. Like the prior lawsuit, this one undoubtedly relates to the separate efforts of the non-asterisked NFLPA and its separate licensing operation to generate revenue based on the names and likenesses of current and former players.
We’ll defer any further discussion of the situation until we get a copy of the complaint. Partially because we know that most of you have had enough legal talk in the last six weeks to last a lifetime.