Tag Archives: Redskins

Here’s why an NFL player is suing FanDuel, Ironically

pierre garcon, redskins, washington redskins, fanduel, fantasy football, nfl, draft kings
Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon looks on late in the fourth quarter in a game between the Redskins and New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on December 14, 2014 in East Rutherford, NJ. Photograph by Ricky Carioti — The Washington Post/Getty Images

It’s not about gambling.

Amidst ongoing scrutiny of daily fantasy sports companies, Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garçon, through his attorney, filed a class action lawsuit against FanDuel on Friday.

There has been a slew of class action lawsuits brought against FanDuel and its competitor DraftKings in the past few weeks, but they have been brought by users of the companies alleging unfair play by insiders. The lawsuits came in the wake of a major scandal over a DraftKings employee who won $250,000 playing on FanDuel.

But Garçon’s lawsuit is different. It’s not about insider play, nor is it concerned with whether daily fantasy sports is gambling, which has been the focus of recent regulatory scrutiny. It’s about player permission, and whether FanDuel illegally uses player names and likenesses. He has filed it “on behalf” of all NFL players, but for now the suit is coming only from Garçon.

According to a statement released by Garçon’s lawyers, the receiver argues that FanDuel, “knowingly and improperly exploits the popularity and performance of Garçon, along with all the other National Football League (“NFL”) players at offensive skilled positions without their authority or a valid license.”

The complaint also addresses FanDuel’s advertising: “Through a comprehensive television advertising campaign… FanDuel routinely uses the names and likenesses of some of these NFL players without authorization to promote FanDuel’s commercial enterprise.”

In other words, the lawsuit addresses two different realms: the product itself (FanDuel’s website and app, where it uses player names and a small photo of each) and the company’s ads. To the former complaint, there is some legal precedent that favors FanDuel, though it was in a different sport: in 2006 a federal judge ruled that fantasy sports leagues can use the names and likenesses of MLB players. The latter may be the stronger argument for Garçon: Last month, DraftKings scored a deal with the NFL Players’ Association that allows the company to use any NFL players in its advertisements with or without the player’s individual permission; this is why DraftKings isn’t part of Garçon’s lawsuit.

FanDuel has no such deal. It has not used Garçon’s face in its advertisements (in fact FanDuel has sought to differentiate its advertising from DraftKings by utilizing regular people, not celebrity spokespeople), but it has shown screens with his name listed among other players.

“I am bringing this lawsuit against FanDuel for using my name, image, and likeness in both daily fantasy contests and through advertising on TV ads and infomercials,” Garçon said in a statement. But as Twitter users were quick to point out on Friday, the suit represents a change of heart by the receiver, who repeatedly shilled for FanDuel in the past, up until one year ago.

It’s not about gambling.

Amidst ongoing scrutiny of daily fantasy sports companies, Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garçon, through his attorney, filed a class action lawsuit against FanDuel on Friday.

There has been a slew of class action lawsuits brought against FanDuel and its competitor DraftKings in the past few weeks, but they have been brought by users of the companies alleging unfair play by insiders. The lawsuits came in the wake of a major scandal over a DraftKings employee who won $250,000 playing on FanDuel.

But Garçon’s lawsuit is different. It’s not about insider play, nor is it concerned with whether daily fantasy sports is gambling, which has been the focus of recent regulatory scrutiny. It’s about player permission, and whether FanDuel illegally uses player names and likenesses. He has filed it “on behalf” of all NFL players, but for now the suit is coming only from Garçon.

According to a statement released by Garçon’s lawyers, the receiver argues that FanDuel, “knowingly and improperly exploits the popularity and performance of Garçon, along with all the other National Football League (“NFL”) players at offensive skilled positions without their authority or a valid license.”

The complaint also addresses FanDuel’s advertising: “Through a comprehensive television advertising campaign… FanDuel routinely uses the names and likenesses of some of these NFL players without authorization to promote FanDuel’s commercial enterprise.”

In other words, the lawsuit addresses two different realms: the product itself (FanDuel’s website and app, where it uses player names and a small photo of each) and the company’s ads. To the former complaint, there is some legal precedent that favors FanDuel, though it was in a different sport: in 2006 a federal judge ruled that fantasy sports leagues can use the names and likenesses of MLB players. The latter may be the stronger argument for Garçon: Last month, DraftKings scored a deal with the NFL Players’ Association that allows the company to use any NFL players in its advertisements with or without the player’s individual permission; this is why DraftKings isn’t part of Garçon’s lawsuit.

FanDuel has no such deal. It has not used Garçon’s face in its advertisements (in fact FanDuel has sought to differentiate its advertising from DraftKings by utilizing regular people, not celebrity spokespeople), but it has shown screens with his name listed among other players.

“I am bringing this lawsuit against FanDuel for using my name, image, and likeness in both daily fantasy contests and through advertising on TV ads and infomercials,” Garçon said in a statement. But as Twitter users were quick to point out on Friday, the suit represents a change of heart by the receiver, who repeatedly shilled for FanDuel in the past, up until one year ago.

This lawsuit has a lot in common with UCLA basketball alum Ed O’Bannon’s much-publicized class action lawsuit against the NCAA over compensation for college athletes. When O’Bannon first filed in 2009, his claim named EA Games as a co-defendant, for using player likenesses without consent. He was successful in that part of his suit; in 2014 the video game company settled for $40 million.

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Do the Washington Redskins need to change their name?

Redskins planning stadium, won’t change nickname for move back to D.C.

Redskins president dismisses name change for new stadium
FILE – In this Dec. 31, 2014 file photo, Washington Redskins President and General Manager Bruce Allen speaks to reporters during an NFL football news conference at the Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. Allen says the Washington Redskins will not reconsider whether to change the team’s nickname if it becomes a political barrier to building a new stadium. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

The Washington Redskins almost instantly didn’t like their stadium in Landover, Md., which must really stink for the taxpayers who paid $70.5 million for “land, sewer lines, highway interchanges and other infrastructure” for FedEx Field, opened in 1997.

The $180 million stadium itself was privately financed, but isn’t as nice as many of the NFL stadiums that have been built since. So the Redskins want a new stadium and are working on it now, even though their FedEx Field lease runs through 2026. It’s probably smart to get a jump on it now because it seems like there will be many layers of political battles along the way.

Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. are possible locations for the stadium, but those who enjoy nostalgia and accuracy and want the Washington Redskins back in Washington might not get their wish. Team president Bruce Allen reiterated that the team will not change its controversial nickname if that’s a stipulation for them to move back to D.C.

He was asked if the team would consider changing its name to facilitate the move.

“No,” Allen said, according to CSN Washington.

So that’s that.

If the Redskins moved back to Washington D.C. it would almost certainly have to be on the site of old RFK Stadium. That land is owned by the National Park Service, which leased it to the city for the next 22 years, according to ESPN.com. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell is against the team’s nickname. So without a team name change, a move to D.C. might not be possible, because that department would need to approve the move. The nickname doesn’t seem to be such a big deal in neighboring states; ESPN points out that governors in Virginia and Maryland say they won’t pressure the team to change its name to move there. CSN Washington did say that some officials in Maryland have issues with the name, and the political climate in Virginia could change by the time serious stadium negotiations take place.

None of this is going to happen immediately, so the poor Redskins will have to grind it out for some more years in their 18-year-old stadium. The team is just starting talks with various government leaders, but wants to get the process going now because sometimes squeezing taxpayers of money to help out a billion-dollar team the process can take a while.

“Building a stadium is different than building a house,” Allen said, according to the Washington Times. “We wanted to get ahead of it and start doing the preliminary work. It’s not going to be a new stadium in the next 48 months, so we don’t have to worry about that.”

So, are the Washington Redskins racist or a sporting exception?

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him atshutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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Mark Brunell doesn’t think RGIII can succeed in the NFL

Former Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell has defended Robert Griffin III against his critics before. As someone who transitioned from being a running quarterback to a more traditional pocket-passer after suffering a knee injury before his third season in Jacksonville, Brunell, now an ESPN analyst, expressed optimism that Griffin would be able to make similar changes to his game.

“He can get there,” Brunell told ESPN’s John Keim last May. “He’s one of the best young quarterbacks in the league and he got there because he’s a great athlete and he’ll be coached well. He’ll be fine. Other young quarterbacks couldn’t get to that point. He won’t be one of those guys. He’s smart.”

Even after Griffin struggled through the 2014 season, Brunell expressed hope that, with hard work, Griffin’s pocket instincts would improve.

“You can develop those [instincts],” he told Keim in January. “But to develop those instincts you have to stay in the pocket. You’ve got to be in there and it’s not easy because a lot of quarterbacks’ heads tell them to stay in there but the feet tell them we’ve got to go. It’s tough.”

On Monday, Brunell was part of a discussion of what went wrong for Griffin in 2014 on ESPN’s “NFL Live,” and his outlook for the Redskins QB sounded considerably less rosy.

“There were a series of things that were wrong with RGIII, and it really starts with his fundamentals,” Brunell said. “Unfortunately for the young quarterback, he has gone backwards.”

With video supporting each point, Brunell rattled off a few of Griffin’s biggest issues: poor footwork, including not stepping into his throws and transitioning his weight correctly, an inability to find open receivers and holding onto the ball for too long.

[Matt Cavanaugh provides consistent coaching to Redskins’ quarterbacks]

“Mark, the bottom line is this,” host Stephen A. Smith said. “Do you think RGIII is good enough to succeed in the NFL?

“I do not,” Brunell said. “From what I’ve seen the last couple of years — listen, he burst onto the scene and that was impressive — but like I said, he has gone backwards. It’s not just his decision-making, it’s his fundamentals. He’s taking too many hits, he’s quick to get out of the pocket. Last year was difficult to watch. Does he have the skill set? Yes, but we haven’t seen it in some time.”

 

Fellow analyst Damien Woody disagreed.

“Here’s the thing with RGIII,” Woody said. “Yes, you can look at a lot of deficiencies in his game. I’m going to choose to look at certain things that’s around him. Number one, the offensive line. ‘Suspect’ is putting it lightly. They were terrible. They were turrrible last year. What did they do? They brought in, in my opinion, the best offensive line coach, Bill Callahan. They drafted Brandon Scherff. What the Washington Redskins are doing right now, they’re focusing all of their energy on, outside of quarterback, probably the most important part of the team. That’s the trenches. They drafted heavily on the offensive line and defensive line. They’re going to get back to just smashing people in the mouth.”

Woody and Brunell both suggested that Griffin’s development depends on Redskins Coach Jay Gruden’s ability to maximize his talent.

“This is a make or break season for RGIII, without a doubt,” Brunell said. “If he doesn’t fix those inconsistencies, this could be it for him [in Washington]. It really could. … He hasn’t had a great supporting cast. Jay Gruden has to find out what he does well and focus on that. Find out what RGIII’s good at and let’s call those plays, let’s get him into a rhythm, get him some completions, take a little pressure off of him and let that running game get going.”

Smith asked if we know that Gruden is capable of that.

“I don’t believe we do,” Brunell said.

 

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