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Saints’ Quarterback Says: Say It Ain’t So, Supremes

Posted  January 8, 2010

It may be a Hail Mary pass, but New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has thrown a long bomb to the Supreme Court with a Washington Post op-ed that warns the Supremes that their decision in the upcoming case of American Needle, Inc. v. National Football League, could end up sacking both professional athletes and antitrust enforcement.

At issue in the American Needle case is the extent to which the NFL – and by implication all professional sports leagues – should be considered a single entity immune from antirust claims of conspiracy.  The Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments in the case on Wednesday.

In his op-ed, Brees expresses concern that the Seventh Circuit’s decision in American Needle – if affirmed or extended – could enable football teams to agree to abolish free agency and otherwise eliminate all competition from their multibillion dollar business without fear of antitrust scrutiny.

In a previous post, this blog examined the far-reaching implications the American Needle case could have for antitrust regulation of all professional sports leagues in the U.S.

Tagged in: Antitrust Litigation,