Drew Brees Pens Op-Ed About Major Supreme Court Case (Seriously)

by 8 years ago

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Surely, you’re thinking, Drew Brees has better things to do than write a Washington Post column about an upcoming Supreme Court case. We know he’s got a bye week, but surely Drew can be watching film or hitting the weight room, right? Actually, the case — and his op-ed — is actually pretty interesting.

The crux of the case is whether or not the NFL should be legally considered a single entity, or whether in fact it’s 32 different organizations governed by the league office. In a lawsuit challenging the NFL’s deal with Reebok to provide league apparel, a small hat company in Buffalo claimed that by making all 32 teams use the same supplier (Reebok), that it was in violation of anti-trust, non-compete laws. The hat company says that any team in the league should be allowed to enter into a contract with any supplier. A federal court disagreed and said that the NFL can act as a “single entity.” Here’s where things get weird.

The NFL has since petitioned the Supreme Court to expand the lower court’s ruling to include all of its business dealings. Here’s how Brees explains it:

Amazingly, even after the NFL won the case, it asked the Supreme Court to dramatically expand the ruling and determine that the teams act as a single entity not only for marketing hats and gear, but for pretty much everything the league does. It was an odd request — similar to my asking an official to review an 80-yard pass of mine that the official had already ruled a touchdown. The notion that the teams function as a single entity is absurd; the 32 organizations composing the NFL and the business people who run them compete with unrelenting intensity for players, coaches and, most of all, the loyalty of fans.

Needless to say, Brees — and the rest of the Players Union, who surely wrote the op-ed for him in the first place — is not too happy. If the NFL is considered a single entity for everything, the players and coaches would lose out on a lot of money, and fans would be subjected to even higher prices for merchandise, among other things. Here’s Brees stating his case:

[The NFL] could agree to end or severely restrict free agency, continue to enter into exclusive agreements that will further raise prices on merchandise, lock coaches into salary scales that don’t reward them when they’re promoted and set higher ticket prices (including preventing teams from competing through ticket discounts).

Not surprisingly, the players associations of the NBA, NHL, and MLB are all behind Brees and Co., and have filed amicus briefs. This is a case that we’ll watch closely over the coming weeks and months. You can read the full op-ed here. “


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