), Riddell, Inc. (d/b/a Riddell Sports Group, Inc.), AllAmerican Sports Corporation, (d/b/a Riddell/All American), Riddell Sports Group, Inc., Easton-Bell Sports, Inc., Easton-Bell Sports, LLC, EB Sports Corp., and RBG Holdings Corp.
(collectively ―Riddell Defendants‖), and allege as follows:
The NFL is Americ
s most successful sports organization, generating multi-billion dollar profits and legions of devoted fans. On average, the NFL generates approximately$9,300,000,000.00 per year. As the organizer, marketer and face of professional football, theNFL zealously protects these profits and the game that produces them.2.
This success comes at a price for the players who make the game great. For manydecades, evidence has linked repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (
) to long-termneurological problems. The NFL was aware of the evidence and the risks associated withrepetitive traumatic brain injuries for many decades, but deliberately ignored and activelyconcealed the information from the players, including the late Junior Seau.3.
Since its inception, the NFL has controlled and regulated every aspect of the gameof professional football, particularly with respect to player safety and health. The NFL has usedthis authority to compel all NFL players and participants to follow the policies, rules, andregulations the NFL has enacted and imposed. As the governing body of professional football,the NFL has held itself out as the guardian and authority on the issue of player safety and hasunilaterally shouldered for itself a duty to provide players with rules and information that protectplayers as much as possible from short-term and long-term health risks.4.
The NFL‘s role as the guardian of player health and safety began in the 1930s and
continues up through the present day. The NFL has exercised its supervisory role through its
unilateral decisions to issue rules to improve upon NFL football‘s public acceptance, to make a
profit, and to address issues of player safety. The NFL has also unilaterally and voluntarilychosen how to spend its funds to investigate and regulate many different circumstances affectingplayer health and safety, including, but not limited to, requiring players to wear certainequipment, designating some player gear as illegal, and ultimately deciding what helmet brand