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Alliance of American Football Players and Termination Class Action

The Alliance of American Football (AAF) played its first games to great fanfare in February 2019. Eight weeks later, its operations were “indefinitely suspended.” Two players in the league, who had three-year contracts, bring this class action against AAF Players, LLC (the AAF), Legendary Field Exhibitions, LLC, AAF Properties, LLC, Ebersol Sports Media Group, Inc. and individuals Thomas Dundon and Charles “Charlie” Ebersol.

The class for this action is all persons who contracted with AAF Players, LLC or were involved with the AAF as a player.

In March 2018, Charlie Ebersol announced the creation of a new football league, the AAF. The complaint alleges it was meant to “appear to potential AAF players as a legitimate league that would provide a potential path to a successful career as a future National Football League player.” 

It was touted as a long-term undertaking. Ebersol said that all the investors understood that it would require patience and wisdom, and that “if you are not committed seven to ten years, you are not taking this seriously.” 

The league had eight teams. Plaintiff Reggie Northrup was signed as a player on October 15, 2018; plaintiff Colton Schmidt was signed on January 8, 2019. Each was given a three-year contract that promised pay of $70,000 for 2019, $80,000 for 2020, and $100,000 for 2021. The contract forbade them to play for anyone but their own AAF team. They had to stay for the entire season and could not look to join any other league, including the NFL.

The AAF debuted on February 9, 2019 “as the highest rated sports program in primetime” on that day on CBS, “with additional broadcast partnerships with the NFL Network and Turner Sports adding millions more viewers. The audience for its first weekend was supposedly over six million people. 

On April 2, 2019, the operations of the AAF were suspended indefinitely. Players were told they were free to look for other employment. However, the complaint alleges that the players’ contracts “had not been voided, canceled, or terminated” and that “Defendants were not excused in any way from performing every significant material condition, covenant, and obligat[ion] owed to” the players.

One issue is a $250 million line of credit extended to the league by defendant Thomas Dundon. The complaint alleges that Dundon’s real motive “was to acquire the smartphone application intellectual property that could be used for gambling on player performance in fantasy football and real time proposition bets…” The complaint alleges that this software is still being developed.

The players are making claims for breach of contract, fraud, and false promise, among other things, claiming that they took risks of injury and passed up other potential opportunities to sign their AAF contracts.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Alliance of American Football Players and Termination Complaint

June 24, 2019

The Alliance of American Football (AAF) played its first games to great fanfare in February 2019. Eight weeks later, its operations were “indefinitely suspended.” Two players in the league, who had three-year contracts, bring this class action against AAF Players, LLC (the AAF), Legendary Field Exhibitions, LLC, AAF Properties, LLC, Ebersol Sports Media Group, Inc. and individuals Thomas Dundon and Charles “Charlie” Ebersol.

Case Event History

Alliance of American Football Players and Termination Complaint

June 24, 2019

The Alliance of American Football (AAF) played its first games to great fanfare in February 2019. Eight weeks later, its operations were “indefinitely suspended.” Two players in the league, who had three-year contracts, bring this class action against AAF Players, LLC (the AAF), Legendary Field Exhibitions, LLC, AAF Properties, LLC, Ebersol Sports Media Group, Inc. and individuals Thomas Dundon and Charles “Charlie” Ebersol.

Tags: Breach of Contract, Fraud, Sports