Wednesday, January 23, 2019

This Saints Lawsuit Is Trash But The NFL Has Another Integrity Problem - Legal Sports Report

Saints lawsuit

Why chase ambulances when you can sprint behind the New Orleans Saints and their broken-hearted fans? After all, the fans are much easier to catch.

You know the story: obvious blown call, Saints lose, Saints coach complains, social media follows, apocalypse now. Less than 48 hours later, disgruntled Saints fans channeled their anger into digging up a lawyer willing to sue Roger Goodell and the NFL.

Saints fans Tommy Badeaux and Candis Lambert filed the lawsuit on behalf of The Who Dat Nation. They want to force Goodell to reverse the outcome of the game or restart it from the missed penalty. Seriously.

Read the entire suit here. Please remember we warned you first because the more attention we give this farce, the more we encourage it. (And yes, we’re aware this is another article about it. That’s only to point out its ridiculous nature.)

What the Saints lawsuit claims

Frank D’Amico, Jr., a Louisiana personal injury attorney calling himself “the strong arm of the law”, filed the Saints lawsuit. It makes the following logic-bending arguments:

As a direct result of the said incident, plaintiffs herein, have been left bereft and with no faith in the National Football League for fairness despite the leagues own rules to correct such errors, along with emotional anguish, monetary loss for ticket holders, who purchased tickets with the presumption of integrity and fairness.

The Saints lawsuit first bemoans the injustice of the missed call, then proceeds with baseless accusations of two Los Angeles-based officials deliberately cheating. It continues by calling Goodell and the league negligent, with these claims:

  • “Failure to maintain proper lookout”
  • “Failure to properly call penalties and infractions during game play”
  • “Failure to review plays to correct field oversight after the fact”
  • “Failure to exercise the rights afforded to the commissioner to correct extraordinary unfair actions”
  • “Failure to enforce the rules of the game”
  • “Failure to properly train and supervise referees”
  • “Any other act of negligence shown at the trial of this matter”

But wait, there’s more …

Did your coffee remain in your mouth after that section? Well it’s certain to be spit out once you check out the alleged damages:

  • “Past, Present and future loss of enjoyment of life”
  • “Present and future loss of entertainment”
  • “Distrust of the game which has become the National pastime”
  • “Other damages itemized at the trial of this matter”

Go back and read the entire Saints lawsuit above if you need. Picking apart the dubious contentions throughout it do not merit the attention that its underlying point does.

Integrity, you say?

Start with the caveat that the NFL stands alone among pro sports leagues in not seeking integrity fees from lawmakers. Given what happened Sunday in New Orleans, that might be for the best.

This Saints lawsuit wants to bring legitimacy to doubts about the integrity of the game. Whether it succeeds in that goal is its own question. It brings up another important question, though: do pro sports leagues really want to put their hands directly into sports betting?

In a world …

Of course the NFL and other leagues are involved already. Pretending that sports betting does not drive a great deal of fan interest is silly.

Imagine the reaction, though, if the NFL received something called an integrity fee from states and operators. Picture if Nickell Robey-Coleman laid out a receiver without a ref throwing a flag while casinos are required to give money to leagues.

The NFL wants control over what types of bets operators can offer and required purchase of its official data. The league cites “ghost games” as an integrity threat, but not the perception of it rigging its games — however misguided the concept is.

Laugh off this no-chance lawsuit because it deserves that. Just don’t ignore the salient point that sits below: integrity is a volatile asset that requires vigilance.



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