NFFC lawsuit claims NFL approved convention before scrapping it


The National Football League faces a new lawsuit regarding the manner in which the plug was pulled on the National Fantasy Football Convention, an event sponsored in part by Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. The league likely will try to get the plug pulled on the lawsuit as early as possible in the litigation process, but it may not be easy.

PFT has obtained a copy of the lawsuit, and it alleges that the NFL initially approved the involvement of NFL Media fantasy football expert Michael Fabiano. The lawsuit also contends that Dylan Milner, the Senior Producer of NFL Fantasy Live on NFL Network, contacted the NFFC and asked that the league receive a chance to participate in the event. Milner allegedly asked that NFL Fantasy Live personnel have an opportunity to speak on panels at the event.

The league’s attitude changed in early June, according to the lawsuit. That’s when the league allegedly “began to threaten and harass players who had committed to appear,” ultimately inducing a breach of the contracts the players had signed to participate in the event.

Both the NFL and the NFL Players Association began getting the word out to players about the potential violation of the league’s gambling policy, and Fabiano advised the NFFC via an “emotional call” that the NFL had “forc[ed] him to back out of the event or risk losing his job.”

As expected, the lawsuit claims that the gambling policy doesn’t apply to a convention center at which gambling doesn’t occur, arguing that the league’s policy is ambiguous — and that the ambiguity should be construed against the NFL because of the prior positions the NFL took in relation to the NFFC.

Adding to that notion are the examples cited in the lawsuit of other situations in which the NFL looks the other way when it comes to gambling, such as the holding of Saints training camp at The Greenbrier, which has a 103,000-square-foot casino on the property. Also, the complaint points to the proliferation of team deals with FanDuel (then again, fantasy football for money isn’t gambling because Congress says it isn’t), the partnership between the Lions and MGM Grand Detroit, the promotion of safety Devin McCourty’s “casino night” on the Patriots’ website in October 2014, the hosting of a party cruise by Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski on the Norwegian Cruise Line, which allows the attendees to utilize Norwegian’s “Casinos at Sea,” and the NFL’s decision to allow another fantasy football event to proceed in Las Vegas on July 17, even though Jets receiver Brandon Marshall serves on the “advisory board.”

The lawsuit argues that the NFL illegally interfered with the contractual relationships between the NFFC and the players who had committed to appear, justifying the payment of damages exceeding $1 million.

So why did the league do it? According to the lawsuit, the NFL “recogniz[ed] the commercial opportunities available to the NFFC, [and] likely decided to kill Tony Romo’s effort so that it could replace it with one of its own.”

“In doing business with the NFL,” the lawsuit contends, “‘the house always wins.'”

Of course, the house doesn’t always win in court. And the house could lose this one, big.

38 responses to “NFFC lawsuit claims NFL approved convention before scrapping it

  1. People are really plunking down cash to attend a speaking panel about when to draft a QB in your fantasy league? For Real?

    I can see going to Vegas for a party but sitting through a panel discussion by a bunch of people who don’t know the future seems pointless to me.

  2. In the NFL,
    Roger and god are one and the same.
    So when saying thank god they missed that FG its thank roger

  3. Someday Goodell will have to face consequences for his actions.

    And he will be very confused.

  4. The NFL is a bully, corrupted from allowing lawyers to captain the ship for so many years. In law, the object is to proceed if it’s legally permitted to do so, not if they should because of right and wrong.

  5. Hahahahaha wow the NFL really botched this. Not than any of us didn’t realize money was the problem.

    Maybe some of you can now apologize for saying Romo was stupid for not realizing it was being held at a casino.

    No, you will all keep denying your stupidityand find a reason to bash him again.

  6. Roger voted for it before he voted against it.

    Just like all his other mistakes.

  7. Roger the Dodger is at it again. Somebody didn’t cut him in on the take. IGNORE THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN! It’s the puppet master himself.

  8. How many times does the NFL have to be sued before the owners realize that the left hand never knows what the right hand is doing?
    It doesn’t take a smart man to make the owners hundreds of millions. Goodell is not needed to print money.
    He’s a liability. I just don’t understand why the owners support this guy.

  9. I think there may be a new money making opportunity here. Plan something, incorporate something, develop something, use NFL players in something that may be marginally profitable. As soon as Goodell and his minions smell that there may be 5¢ not going into their pocket, they will bully you into shutting it down. Then WHAM, hit they with a law suit.
    Its a perfect plan because you know that greedy bugger Goodell will try and get his hands on everything. His attitude is, “Well I may not have thought of it yet, and I wasn’t the first to think about it but I was going to think of it, so its mine.”

  10. Sounds like another instance where the NFL could have quietly addressed a relatively minor issue and made it go away, but instead has now turned it into a spectacle and impending lawsuit.

  11. Can’t we just skip the whole ‘Goodell makes an idiot of himself’ routine and go straight to court?

  12. No wonder “there’s no timeline for the Brady decision.”

    The NFL is heading into this legal tarpit, and wants to stall a lawsuit by Brady which would drag out via discovery how much corruption there is in the front office. And how incompetent and overreaching the Ted Wells report was.

    And, of course, the contempt of court filing by the NFLPA in the matter of Adrian Peterson. And perhaps some other interesting case that hasn’t come out publicly yet but is giving the NFL front office headaches.

    This would make great material for a reality show – which would of course lead to some more lawsuits by and against the NFL.

  13. List of NFL front office screw ups:

    This lawsuit
    saints bounties

  14. Uh oh, if the NFL loses this one they might have to sell another game to London! Sorry Jags fans, you’re losing another home game!

  15. grammaticallyincorrect1201 says:
    Jul 22, 2015 7:37 AM

    key2heat says:
    Jul 21, 2015 6:45 PM






    And I’m not sorry, its delicious.

  16. League also did not say anything about players attending the Kentucky Derby. Last time I was at a horse track betting was accepted on horses running a race.

  17. And how about the mayors of the two cities with teams in the Super bowl who make those crazy bets on what the city is best known for: i.e, lobsters vs crabs or a case of clam chowder vs a case of beer. The NFL really needs to clamp down on those outrageous bets between mayors!

  18. After reading a few posts about how this will hurt the league and be defunct in 5 years, I had to ask….

    When has being a bullying, unethical, clandestine and arrogant organization ever resulted in less revenue for an American corporation?

    The NFL may be all those things and most of you will be far more outraged by technical problems with your “Sunday Ticket” feed than you ever say you are with the way the NFL operates.

  19. Any chance of NFL not providing phone records of anyone who threatened players if the records are subpoenaed?

    Tom Brady might be interested….

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