Due to strong media request for comments, the National Fantasy Football Convention is releasing the following in order to set the record straight concerning the particulars of the inaugural Convention’s postponement and impending lawsuit with the NFL.
Pertaining to the alleged association with gaming facilities, for the record: at no time was any part of the family-friendly National Fantasy Football Convention going to be held on casino grounds, and the NFFC was not in any way involved nor endorsing adjacent gaming facilities in any capacity.
The Convention, originally scheduled July 10-12, 2015, was preparing to host over 100 current and former NFL players and personalities across three days of stage events, sessions, autograph and photo ops, exhibits, drafts, fan-led Q&As, and more.
While the NFL was well aware of NFFC for months, including posting an article on NFL.com touting the NFFC in March (the article was taken down 24 hours later), it wasn’t until June, with the Convention only one month away, that the NFL began taking ardent and officious strides to prevent its players and personalities from participating in the NFFC, and even revoking previously approved appearance contracts with NFL Network personalities.
The League took the position that, by associating with a Las Vegas resort-hosted event, the players were in violation of the League’s extensive player conduct policies. Julie Pettit, an attorney representing the NFFC, states, “The NFL knew the event was not in violation of the NFL Gambling Policy, yet after expressly supporting the NFFC, the NFL then threatened to suspend NFL players if they complied with their NFFC appearance contracts. After conducting a thorough investigation, we have determined that the NFL should held accountable for its hypocrisy and harassment.”
Pettit continued, “The NFL’s bullying tactics, known as tortious interference, caused damages to many groups involved—including the players, the fans, and the NFFC.”
Michael K. Hurst, co-counsel for the NFFC echoed: “ The NFL is once again acting like a corporate thug, initiating a campaign to intimidate players away from this event because of its potential for success and in order to kill or control any profits.”
What’s worse is that through their actions, the NFL has directly inhibited players from building their individual brands. The Convention represented a rare opportunity for players to promote themselves, and the NFL saw fit to do everything within their power to prevent it from occurring.
This is nothing more than the latest in a long history of disreputable actions and behavior presented by the League, from an iron-fisted approach to player conduct rarely reflective of the League’s own lack of self-discipline, to annual season ticket price hikes, the NFL continues to show little regard for the opinions and value of its players and fans.
“This is another example of the NFL acting against the best interests of the fans and tarnishing its name”, Hurst added.
The NFFC intends to provide an unforgettable experience for fans and players alike, entirely independent of the NFL’s long shadow and dominating influence. While we’re extremely disappointed that their recent actions caused our postponement, we’re thrilled by the opportunities awaiting everyone next summer in Southern California, and we cannot wait to share more insights into the 2016 National Fantasy Football Convention with fans nationwide.