The NFL’s most litigious team is getting a taste of its own medicine. Along with every other NFL team.
The City of Oakland has filed a federal lawsuit against the NFL and all 32 teams, including the Raiders.
“The defendants brazenly violated federal antitrust law and the league’s own policies when they boycotted Oakland as a host city,” Oakland City Attorney Barbara J. Parker said in a press release. “The Raiders’ illegal move lines the pockets of NFL owners and sticks Oakland, its residents, taxpayers, and dedicated fans with the bill. The purpose of this lawsuit is to hold the defendants accountable and help to compensate Oakland for the damages the defendants’ unlawful actions have caused and will cause to the people of Oakland.”
The civil complaint, a 49-page document, advances seven different claims against the NFL and its teams.
Much will be said and written about the lawsuit as it unfolds. For now, the most immediate question is whether the lawsuit means that the Raiders will play elsewhere in 2019. Via Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, team president Marc Badain declined comment on the question of whether the litigation means that the inevitable Las Vegas team will be leaving Oakland after 2018.
And for good reason. With one home game left this year — a Christmas Eve visit from the Broncos — making it known that there will never be another Raiders game in Oakland could spark the kind of scene not witnessed since the Browns’ final home game in Cleveland.