Fresh off a $28 million victory over their own union, a retired NFL player says his comrades are targeting John Madden and Electronic Arts for their roles in games using their likenesses without compensating them.
CLARIFICATION: The earlier headline said "NFL Players." While the entire story refers to retired NFL players, the unclear headline might have led some to believe active players were contemplating legal action. They are not.
Readers might recall that more than 2,000 retired NFL players won a collective $28 million judgment against the National Football League Players Association, upheld in January. Their suit alleged that the union advised EA to "scramble" the players' likenesses (numbers, heights, sometimes races, but not stats) in order to use them in historic team rosters without compensation.
Well, having beaten one end of that shady transaction - the union - it sounds like the players want blood money from the other end, that being the deep-pocketed EA and Madden himself. Writes former Cleveland Brown Bernie Parrish (on former Raiders lineman David Pear's blog):
The retired NFL players who were used in Madden EA video games will be suing Madden and EA for using us in those games without compensating us. We probably will not use ... the attorneys who obtained a $28.1 million verdict for us against the NFLPA for "scrambling retired players identities" in those video games. The jury found it a "grossly fraudulent" action taken so they wouldn't have to pay the retired players. ... In my opinion, Madden should have been included in our licensing suit against the NFLPA and so should EA.
Parrish then calls on the retirees, who are due some $13,000 each under the verdict, to set aside $1,000 for a legal fund to continue the pursuit.