The National Football League is being sued again.
The Fan Expo LLC is suing the NFL over how the NFL interfered with their event the National Fantasy Football Convention.
Cowboys QB Tony Romo is a co-owner of The Fan Expo and had teamed up with a Dallas area businessman to host the event which was expected to draw at least 60 current NFL players, according to ESPN. Star players Rob Gronkowski, Dez Bryant and Julio Jones had planned on attending.
The National Fantasy Football Convention was scheduled to take place July 10-12 at a convention area owned by The Venetian in Las Vegas.
The lawsuit says, “This case is about the NFL’s blatant and premeditated sabotage of an event designed to bring together the very people who are the backbone of the NFL–the players and the fans.”
Early on the NFL approved of the NFFC even allowing Michael Fabiano, a Senior Fantasy Analyst from the NFL Network, to sign on as host of the event.
The lawsuit asserts that once the NFFC began to gain major traction and publicity the NFL decided to destroy it. The NFL began to threaten the players involved with fines and suspensions if they chose to participate.
The NFL’s primary concern was allegedly the location of the NFFC and the presumed gambling ties. Although, the lawsuit notes that, “the event was not taking place at a casino, that no gambling would take place at the event, and that children were allowed and encouraged to attend.” The convention area does not even possess a gaming license.
If the NFL had a hardline stance against casinos and gambling then their actions would be defensible. However, as the lawsuit notes the NFL is riddled with hypocrisy surrounding gambling.
The New Orleans Saints official training camp facility in 2014 was home to a 103,000 square-foot casino. Meanwhile, in May of 2015 the Detroit Lions signed a sponsorship deal with MGM Grand Detroit and there are plans build an “MGM Grand Detroit Tunnel Club” at the Lions stadium.
The NFL conveniently turning a blind-eye to gambling isn’t limited to franchises, in October of 2014, New England Patriots player Devin McCourty hosted a casino night for charity, a video of which was featured on the team’s website.
A comment on an online forum hosted by NFFC’s website summed up many peoples feelings toward the NFL, “Wouldn’t expect anything different from the NFL. The selfishness and greed in the NFL is an embarrassment for the game I love.”
The NFL seems to approve of gambling related operations as long as the league stands to profit from them.