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Former NFL players sue the league

Players claim NFL used their images without permission

Some former players for the National Football League (NFL) have a bone to pick with their former employer, Bloomberg recently reported.

Earlier this week, 10 ex-NFL players filed suit against the league claiming it violated their rights of publicity when it used their images to sell NFL Film Products. The NFL records every live game and uses the raw footage of former players in promotional and marketing videos.

Among the 10 players named as plaintiffs on the suit are five Hall of Famers—Curley Culp, John Riggins, Ron Yary, Dave Casper and Tom Mack—who joined the suit after its Aug. 20 file date.

This case is related to a similar case the league settled in March and approved by U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson in St. Paul, Minn.

Under that agreement, the NFL agreed to fund an account with $42 million that will help retired football players set up a licensing agency to manage their publicity rights. The plaintiffs in the recent suit claim that settlement didn’t go far enough.

 “NFL Films’ continued use of former players’ images is unauthorized, and not consented to,” says the complaint. “It expropriates for itself and usurps commercial opportunities that would otherwise flow to and belong to the former players.”

The NFL told Bloomberg it is “disappointed that a few retired players believe that additional litigation will be productive in the face of Judge Magnuson’s decision in April finding that the settlement” is “fair and reasonable.”

Read more sports-related legal news on InsideCounsel:

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Derek Boogaard’s family sues NHL over his death

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NFL will fight anti-gay discrimination

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Judge tosses civil suit filed against basketball coach


Cathleen Flahardy

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