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Romo’s lawsuit against NFL goes to court Monday

Tony Romo


The NFL’s Summer of Law, 2015 edition, included a claim from Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo that the NFL improperly shut down a fantasy football convention in Las Vegas, over concerns that the event was being held on property owned by a casino. (Meanwhile, the NFL currently is allowing the Raiders to openly flirt with the owner of the same casino regarding the possibility of building a stadium there.)

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the two sides head to court on Monday for a hearing on the NFL’s motion for summary judgment. The source says that Romo’s venture, the National Fantasy Football Convention, plans to amend its lawsuit to state additional specific claims against the NFL.

Also, the NFFC’s lawyers hope to question Commissioner Roger Goodell under oath, under the theory that he has the final say on matters relating to gambling. So far, the NFL has produced only executive V.P. Adolpho Birch for questioning, and the league is resisting the attempt to question Goodell. The dispute likely will be resolved by the presiding judge.

According to the source, the NFCC had signed contracts with Michael Fabiano and Desmond Purnell of NFL Media to appear at the event. The source says that a contract also was in place with NFL Fantasy Live producer Heather Pink, and that verbal deals had been negotiated with Lindsay Rhodes and Elliott Harrison. Moreover, a total of 15 media credentials had been issued by the NFFC to NFL Media, which planned to televise two different shows from the event.

The league cites a broad gambling policy, and the NFFC claims that the policy is ambiguous. The real problem is that the league gave the event tacit approval throughout the planning process, only to force the NFFC to pull the plug on it by precluding any players or other league employees from attending.