Establishment of New Retired Player Directed Benefit Fund and Licensing Agency Leads to Settlement of Lawsuit Against NFL

The National Football League and a group of well-known retired NFL players announced a settlement today of a class action lawsuit challenging the use of retired player images in NFL Films footage and seeking compensation for such uses.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Minneapolis in 2009.  For nearly the past year, Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan has actively supervised the settlement process and helped the parties reach an agreement.  In 2011, Judge Boylan worked closely with the NFL and the NFLPA to help resolve their labor dispute, leading to a historic 10-year collective bargaining agreement.

Under the terms of the settlement:

  • The NFL will contribute $42 million over an eight-year period to a newly established Common Good Fund that will be administered by a group of retired players approved by the court.  The fund will be used to support organizations that now and in the future provide benefits to retired players, including medical, housing, career transition and other forms of assistance.
  • The settlement also establishes the first-ever independent licensing agency dedicated to the use of retired player publicity rights.  The new agency will be overseen by a board of retired players approved by the court and operated separate from the NFL and NFL Players Association. The NFL will, however, provide certain financial and promotional support to the licensing agency.   The licensing agency will enable companies to more readily access retired NFL players for use in licensing, sponsorship and other commercial programs.
  • The settlement does not alter the NFL’s right to continue to distribute NFL game programming and footage to promote the history and tradition of the NFL.

For the complete release, click here

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