Dolphins to have no more Super Bowls
A group of prominent business leaders is calling for a ban on the NFL’s most popular and lucrative franchise.
The owners and the players are facing a bitter lawsuit over whether the league is breaking the law by allowing its teams to host the Super Bowl and other marquee events, which are lucrative for the league and its owners.
The suit filed Thursday seeks to have the law changed to require teams to pay a fee to play in the marquee events and prohibit the use of public funds to host those events.
A group of business leaders are calling for an end to the NFL Super Bowl.
The owners and players are suing.
The lawsuit filed Thursday calls for the law to require the teams to give up some or all of their revenue to host events.
A team can use public funds for events, but not for marquee events.
(AP)The league is asking a federal judge in Los Angeles to dismiss the lawsuit, which seeks to make it easier for teams to make their marquee events financially viable.
The NFLPA is expected to file its own response to the lawsuit later this week.
The suit filed by the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Corporate America’s Business Institute and the National Football League Players Association says the NFL is ignoring the owners’ and players’ constitutional rights to freedom of speech and association, and is not complying with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down a provision of the 1954 Civil Rights Act that banned discrimination in public accommodations.
The suit says the league has “a history of abusing its power to silence and silence” critics.
“By failing to protect its franchise, the NFL has made itself an accomplice to the criminal and unlawful conduct of its owners and its players, and a participant in the conduct of the mob,” the lawsuit says.
The NFLPA, the union representing NFL players, says it has the right to bring the lawsuit as long as the league does not engage in unlawful conduct or violate any state or federal laws.
It also has the obligation to protect players’ rights to fair and equal treatment in the workplace, the suit says.
But the league, which has a history of making bad business decisions, has not yet provided a timeline for the lawsuit to be heard, a spokesman for the NFL said.
The league has been hit with two lawsuits from the owners and one from players seeking damages, the spokesman said.
“This is a very serious lawsuit and we’re looking forward to the judge in L.A. issuing a decision,” spokesman Greg Aiello said.
“There is a lot of litigation happening in this country right now that is impacting our players, our teams, and our fans, so this is going to be a very important hearing.
We’re confident that the judge is going, at this point, to decide this issue fairly and in a fair and impartial manner.”
In a statement, the National Basketball Association said it was disappointed in the court ruling and said it “looks forward to a full resolution” of the dispute.
It said it is “currently assessing the next steps.”
A number of prominent athletes have joined the lawsuit.
Basketball player Karl Malone, the NBA’s All-Star for three consecutive years, filed a lawsuit last week that accuses the league of violating antitrust laws by allowing teams to use public money to host marquee events at home.
In a statement Thursday, Malone called the NFL “a disgrace.”
“It’s disgraceful that the owners would have the gall to allow their team to host its games on the public dime and to have players pay a portion of the money that they are expected to earn in order to do so,” Malone said.
In a related case, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has agreed to a $2 million settlement with the owners over the way he handled the case.
Silver is accused of taking advantage of a loophole in the law that allowed teams to set up shop in the city that they would host the game.
The case was settled in January.
Silver has denied wrongdoing and said he was “absolutely” unaware of the loophole.