A lawsuit accusing the NFL of improperly shutting down a fantasy football convention in Las Vegas led by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is heading to court on Monday.
Let us refresh your memory about this lawsuit. Romo was supposed to lead the National Fantasy Football Convention (NFFC) in Las Vegas in July 2015 but the National Football League (NFL) threatened the NFL players who were set to attend.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has convinced himself that fantasy sports is not gambling but the location of Romo’s event – the Sands Expo, a convention space of Las Vegas Sands’ Venetian Resort Hotel Casino – led the NFL to inform almost 100 NFL players that they could be subject to fines if they attended.
NFFC released a statement saying they were “postponing” their inaugural event until July 2016 due to “sudden and unexpected opposition taken by the NFL concerning player participation and their perceived association with gambling for an event in Las Vegas.”
The event was moved to Los Angeles but the NFFC didn’t accept the NFL’s nonsense and launched a lawsuit in July. According to the lawsuit, the league knew about the location of the event in June and NFL’s threats to players were “bullying tactics.”
“The NFL is once again acting like a corporate thug,” said NFFC co-counsel Michael K. Hurst, “initiating a campaign to intimidate players away from this event because of its potential for success and in order to kill or control any profits.”
Fast forward to this week, when a source told NBC Sports that both parties will head to court on Monday for a hearing and the NFFC is hoping that the court would put Goodell under oath.
The suit, which seeks $1 million in damages, will also cite the NFL’s hypocrisy when it comes to implementing its gambling policy. NFL player Rob Gronkowski threw a party cruise from Miami to the Bahamas on February 19-22, 2016, which allowed attendees to take full advantage of Norweigan’s Casinos at Sea. The suit also cites the New Orleans Saints’ training camp in July, which was held in Greenbrier—a resort with a guest-only casino, as well as the Detroit Lions’ sponsorship deal with MGM Grand Detroit.
Who knows, maybe they would also mention NFL letting the Oakland Raiders negotiate with Las Vegas Sands boss Sheldon Adelson for a possibility of the team moving to Las Vegas.