Titans receiver Julio Jones and former NFL receiver Roddy White have been sued. That’s not uncommon; people get sued all the time. This specific lawsuit, however, includes some unusual allegations.
In a nutshell, a lawsuit filed by Genetixs LLC accuses Jones and White of involvement in efforts to divert cannabis products from an otherwise legal cultivation and distribution operation in order to make black-market sales. The lawsuit alleges that Jones, White, and multiple other defendants have sold since March 2021 a whopping $3 million per month of cannabis products on the black market, and that they laundered money arising from those sales.
News of the lawsuit first appeared on LarryBrownSports.com. The Tennessean has since posted the civil complaint, filed July 21 in a California court.
“The vague allegations against SLW Holdings LLC and its members Roddy White and Julio Jones are meritless,” attorney Rafe Emanuel said in a statement issued to the Tennessean. “In May, SLW obtained a temporary restraining order in a related civil case to prevent unlawful conduct involving Genetixs LLC. In reply, the defendants argued conspiracy theories that were not proven by evidence in court, nor were they substantiated before any agency.”
Meritless or not, the 26-page civil complaint looks and reads like a normal lawsuit, and normal lawsuits normally run through the normal process. That process involves, in many cases, an initial effort to get the case dismissed and then, if the case survives (most of the time it does), an effort commences to gather the evidence that proves (or disproves) the allegations. This means that, eventually, Jones and/or White likely will be placed under oath and asked a bunch of direct and aggressive questions about their knowledge and activities. Before that happens, emails and text messages and other relevant documents will be collected and reviewed.
At this point, there’s nothing about the lawsuit that screams “frivolous” or “goofy” or “conspiracy theory.” The lawsuit makes allegations, and a lawyer believes that the allegations are true or sufficiently close to true to justify attaching his name to it.
Most defendants who get sued call the claims “meritless” at this stage of the proceedings. Time will tell whether this case has any real merit. If it does, Jones could have a real problem.
And the Titans — who traded for Jones in June and who may be expected to give Jones a new contract after the 2021 season — surely will be paying attention. For now, per the Tennessean, the Titans had no comment.