Judge Considers NFL Bid to Block Cheerleaders’ Antitrust Case

Stay current on the latest developments from agencies including the CFPB, Federal Reserve, FDIC, and OCC to advise clients on real-life regulatory situations.

By Joyce E. Cutler

Cheerleaders want a federal judge to block the National Football League’s motion to dismiss their antitrust lawsuit that alleges most of the league’s teams conspire to depress wages and restrict working opportunities ( Kelsey K. v. NFL Enterprises, LLC, N.D. Cal., No. 3-17-cv-00496, motions hearing 5/18/17 ).

Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California took under advisement arguments in the lawsuit alleging 26 NFL teams collude to suppress wages and prevent cheerleaders from working for other teams without the previous team’s permission.

The inequity is “when a mascot earns $65,000 a year and they get the NFL retirement plan, and you want to pay what they define as ‘girls’"—who trained for decades to be professional dancers—$5,000 for a 10-month job, Dexter Bradshaw in San Francisco, who is representing the cheerleaders, told Bloomberg BNA.

Attorneys with Covington & Burling LLP, who are representing the NFL, contend the case should be dismissed because the cheerleaders failed to plead facts to support a conspiracy. They couldn’t be reached for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Joyce E. Cutler in San Francisco at JCutler@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at maulino@bna.com; Terence Hyland at thyland@bna.com; Christopher Opfer at copfer@bna.com

Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Request Antitrust on Bloomberg Law