A couple of star quarterbacks are fighting back against the lockout, as the Pats Tom Brady, the Colts Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees of the Saints were among 10 players who sued the NFL in federal court Friday in Minneapolis.
The 10 players are accusing the league of conspiracy and anticompetitive practices that date back years.
Their lawsuit asked the court to prevent a lockout, which the league imposed at midnight ET Friday and confirmed in a statement Saturday morning. Less than two hours after the players’ union decertified, clearing the way for antitrust lawsuits, the players filed their 52-page claim and supporting documents in U.S. District Court. They asked the court for class-action status.
They filed a request for an injunction that would keep the NFL and the teams from engaging in a lockout. Invoking the Sherman Act, an 1890 federal antitrust statute that limits monopolies and restrictions on commerce, the players said they were entitled to triple the amount of any damages they’ve incurred. That means the stakes could be in the hundreds of millions.
The players accused the 32 NFL teams of conspiring to deny their ability to market their services “through a patently unlawful group boycott and price-fixing arrangement or, in the alternative, a unilaterally imposed set of anticompetitive restrictions on player movement, free agency and competitive market freedom.”