View Full Version : Lawsuit: NFLPA Conspired With EA to Cheat Retired Players

09-30-2008, 04:24 PM
This ought to turn out interesting. There's a fair bit of evidence that the NFLPA conspired with EA to cheat retired players and help EA become a true monopoly in the football video game market.

Link (http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080930-lawsuit-nflpa-conspired-with-ea-to-cheat-retired-players.html)

EA Sports makes what can only be described as mountains of money from the Madden NFL series. An update is released for every console platform on a yearly basis, and the title continually sells in the millions. Now retired NFL players are coming forward with lawsuits claiming EA isn't giving them the money they deserve for the use of their likeness and career information, and according to some damning internal communication, it appears as if the the NFL Players Association intentionally brokered a lower-than-market-value deal for retired players as a favor to the gaming giant.

Jeff Nixon, who played safety for the Buffalo Bills from 1979 to 1984, has written an open letter (http://theplayer-38.blogspot.com/2008/09/letter-to-john-madden.html) (via GamePolitics) to John Madden detailing the corruption inside the NFLPA and Players Inc., the groups responsible for the negotiation for player compensation from EA Sports. NFLPA executive Clay Walker basically lays out the favoritism in this internal e-mail. "I was able to forge this deal with the [Hall of Fame] that provides them with 400K per year (which is significantly below market rate) in exchange for the HOF player rights. EA owes me a huge favor because of that threat was enough to persuade Take Two to back off its plans, leaving EA as the only professional football videogame manufacturer out there." How Walker expected to be repaid for these alleged activities in unknown.

An e-mail sent November 1, 2007, is equally plain in its language. Andrew Feffer, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the NFLPA wrote to EA Sports' representative Paul Cairns that "Clay and Joe's negotiation of these discounted terms was a significant contribution to EA as you more than likely would have paid in excess of $1 million for these rights without their involvement and assistance." In other words, you saved a cool million because you had people negotiating who weren't hoping to strike the best deal for the players.

09-30-2008, 04:44 PM
Wow! If any of those involved (in the brokered negotiations) have any holdings in EA at all, they are going to be up a creek. Not only that, but their "consultant fees" better be pretty thrifty as well.