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Brady v NFL - 1st Amended Complaint

Brady v NFL - 1st Amended Complaint

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Published by: jediparalegal on May 04, 2011
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 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA----------------------------------------------------------------------xTom Brady, Drew Brees, Vincent Jackson, Ben Leber,Logan Mankins, Peyton Manning, Von Miller, BrianRobison, Osi Umenyiora, and Mike Vrabel,individually, and on behalf of all others similarlysituated,Plaintiffs,v.National Football League, Arizona Cardinals FootballClub, Inc., Inc., Atlanta Falcons Football Club, LLC,Baltimore Ravens Limited Partnership, Buffalo Bills,Inc., Panthers Football, LLC, The Chicago BearsFootball Club, Inc., Cincinnati Bengals, Inc.,Cleveland Browns Football Company LLC, DallasCowboys Football Club, Ltd., PDB Sports, Ltd. d/b/aThe Denver Broncos Football Club, Ltd., The DetroitLions, Inc., Green Bay Packers, Inc., Houston NFLHoldings, LP, Indianapolis Colts, Inc., JacksonvilleJaguars, Ltd., Kansas City Chiefs Football Club, Inc.,Miami Dolphins, Ltd., Minnesota Vikings Football,LLC, New England Patriots LP, New OrleansLouisiana Saints, LLC, New York Football Giants,Inc., New York Jets LLC , The Oakland Raiders LP,Philadelphia Eagles, LLC, Pittsburgh Steelers Sports,Inc., Chargers Football Company, LLC, San FranciscoForty Niners Ltd., Football Northwest LLC, The St.Louis Rams Partnership, Buccaneers LimitedPartnership, Tennessee Football, Inc., Pro-Football,Inc.Defendants.----------------------------------------------------------------------xWeil, Gotshal & Manges LLP Dewey & LeBoeuf LLPJames W. Quinn Jeffrey L. KesslerBruce S. Meyer David G. Feher767 Fifth Avenue 1301 Avenue of the AmericasNew York, NY 10153 New York, NY 10019(212) 310-8000 (212) 259-8000
CASE 0:11-cv-00639-SRN-JJG Document 119 Filed 05/03/11 Page 1 of 48
Plaintiffs, by their undersigned attorneys, for their First Amended Complaintherein allege as follows:
This class action is brought to enjoin violations by each defendant of the federal antitrust laws and state contract and tort laws. Plaintiffs are nine professionalfootball players and one newly drafted professional football player who have enteredinto, and/or who seek to enter into, player contracts with National Football League(“NFL”) teams, and the class of similar players whom they seek to represent.
Defendants, the NFL and its separately-owned and independently-operated member teams, have jointly agreed and conspired to deny Plaintiffs the ability toprovide and/or market their services in the major league market for professional footballplayers through a patently unlawful group boycott and price-fixing arrangement or, in thealternative, a unilaterally-imposed set of anticompetitive restrictions on playermovement, free agency, and competitive market freedom.
The NFL Defendants’ anticompetitive agreements include a so-called“lockout” aimed at shutting down the entire free agent marketplace for players no longerunder contract, as well as a boycott of rookie players seeking an NFL contract for the firsttime, and even players currently under NFL contracts who will not be permitted to enjoythe benefits of those contracts. The stated anticompetitive purpose of this group boycottis to coerce Plaintiffs and the other players to agree to a new anticompetitive system of player restraints which will, among other things, drastically reduce player compensationlevels below those that existed in the past and that would exist in a competitive market.
CASE 0:11-cv-00639-SRN-JJG Document 119 Filed 05/03/11 Page 2 of 48
The group boycotts, concerted refusals to deal and price fixing whichDefendants are carrying out are per se illegal acts under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15U.S.C. § 1. They also constitute an unreasonable restraint of trade under the rule of reason. As a result of Defendants’ anticompetitive agreements, Plaintiffs and othersimilarly situated current and future professional football players who are employed by orseeking employment by an NFL club will be prevented from offering or providing theirservices in a competitive market and from receiving a competitive market value for theirservices, and will be denied the freedom of movement available to employees in virtuallyevery other industry in the United States.
The NFL Defendants cannot defend their violations of the federalantitrust laws by hiding behind the non-statutory labor exemption to the antitrust laws.That exemption only conceivably applies as long as a collective bargaining relationshipexists between the NFL Defendants and the players. The players, however, have endedthe role of the NFLPA as their collective bargaining representative and no longer have acollective bargaining relationship with the NFL Defendants. As has been previouslydecided by this Court, and acknowledged by the United States Supreme Court, the resultof this is that there can no longer be any labor exemption defense.
Additionally, in the class action Stipulation and SettlementAgreement (“SSA”) of the White v. NFL case brought in this Court, the NFL Defendantswaived any right to claim that the players’ decision to end the status of the NFLPA astheir collective bargaining representative is in any way ineffective to end Defendants’labor exemption defense. See SSA, Art. XVIII § 5(b).
CASE 0:11-cv-00639-SRN-JJG Document 119 Filed 05/03/11 Page 3 of 48

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