DALLAS, TEXAS – In a release put out on Thursday, the National Fantasy Football Convention (NFFC) wanted to ‘set the record straight’.
The organization wanted to highlight the reasoning behind the national event’s postponement and impending lawsuit with the National Football League (NFL).
The event was advertised that it would be taking place in Las Vegas, originally scheduled for July 10-12, and would host over 100 current and former NFL players and personalities across three days of stage events, sessions, autograph and photo opportunities, exhibits, drafts, fan-led Q&As, and more.
According to the NFFC, the NFL was aware of the event, posting an article in March about the event on its website, NFL.com.
However, the league soon took the article down as they had an issue with the event taking place in the mecca of gambling.
“Pertaining to the alleged association with gaming facilities, for the record: at no time was any part of the family-friendly National Fantasy Football Convention going to be held on casino grounds, and the NFFC was not in any way involved nor endorsing adjacent gaming facilities in any capacity,” the release read.
“While the NFL was well aware of NFFC for months, including posting an article on NFL.com touting the NFFC in March (the article was taken down 24 hours later), it wasn’t until June, with the Convention only one month away, that the NFL began taking ardent and officious strides to prevent its players and personalities from participating in the NFFC, and even revoking previously approved appearance contracts with NFL Network personalities.”
The NFFC is taking legal action.
“The League took the position that, by associating with a Las Vegas resort-hosted event, the players were in violation of the League’s extensive player conduct policies,” the release stated.
Lawyers representing the NFFC stated and referred to the league’s action as the equivalent of “bullying”.
“The NFL’s bullying tactics, known as tortious interference, caused damages to many groups involved—including the players, the fans, and the NFFC,” attorney Julie Pettit said.
“The NFL is once again acting like a corporate thug, initiating a campaign to intimidate players away from this event because of its potential for success and in order to kill or control any profits,” added co-counsel Michael K. Hurst.
The NFFC went on to state that “the NFL has directly inhibited players from building their individual brands. The Convention represented a rare opportunity for players to promote themselves, and the NFL saw fit to do everything within their power to prevent it from occurring.”
Regardless of the current situation, the NFFC intends to provide an unforgettable experience for fans and players alike, entirely independent of the NFL’s long shadow and dominating influence, with plans for next year’s event to take place in Los Angeles, Calif.
Romo expressed his disappointment in the event’s postponement via Twitter – “NFL has canceled our fantasy football convention this year in Vegas and that is disappointing.”
NFL has canceled our fantasy football convention this year in Vegas and that is disappointing. I’m sad for the fans and players.
— Tony Romo (@tonyromo) June 6, 2015
The NFFC concluded that plans for next year’s convention are well underway.
“While we’re extremely disappointed that their recent actions caused our postponement, we’re thrilled by the opportunities awaiting everyone next summer in Southern California, and we cannot wait to share more insights into the 2016 National Fantasy Football Convention with fans nationwide.”