The administration of Donald J. Trump continues to antagonize many Americans and American institutions. It no longer is antagonizing the NFL. Instead, it’s trying to help.
Sheilla Dingus of AdvocacyForFairnessInSports.org has tracked down the newest filing in the antitrust lawsuit initiated by the City of Oakland against the NFL and the Raiders. In the document, Oakland objects to the submission by the Department of Justice a “Statement of Interest” in the action against the NFL and the Raiders.
In short, the DOJ argues that Oakland should not be permitted to recover lost tax revenues through the antitrust laws. While not a full and complete attack on the overall legal effort, the DOJ’s position, if successful, would limit Oakland’s potential recovery — and it would limit the NFL’s potential exposure.
Oakland also points out that first contact from the DOJ came in early June, one day before a scheduled (but since postponed) hearing on the NFL’s effort to dismiss the entire case. (The hearing is currently set for Friday.) It’s unclear why the DOJ became interested in the case, or why that interest emerged so recently. Regardless, the bottom line is that the DOJ, under the ultimately control of Attorney General William Barr, has decided to get involved in the case, and to make an argument that would reduce the potential worst-case scenario for the NFL.
No matter how that happened, the days of the President repeatedly needling the NFL seem to be ancient history.