Pierre Garçon has sued fantasy sports company FanDuel. The Washington Redskins wide receiver contends that the company is unfairly using his and other NFL players' names and likenesses in its advertisements to draw profits. He is claiming that FanDuel "knowingly and improperly exploits [their] popularity and performance" without seeking their permission.
The press release announcing the lawsuit, which was posted by Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, argues that defendant FanDuel has collected "huge revenues from entry fees" through an allegedly unauthorized comprehensive television advertising campaign.
For his part, Garçon also issued his statement regarding the class-action lawsuit. "FanDuel has taken the liberty to engaged in these actions without my consent and without proper licensing rights. As a result of these activities, FanDuel daily fantasy contests have shown increasing revenues leading to large profits. Therefore, on behalf of myself as well as any other players who are being treated unjustly, I chose to file a complaint," the wide receiver explained.
Interestingly, DraftKings, the defendant's major competitor, has not been named in the lawsuit. It is said that it might have something to do with the fact that the fantasy sports company has an ongoing partnership with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA).. The question that prevails now, according to ProFootball Talk, is whether the lawsuit was in any way initiated by DraftKings or the NFLPA, as part of an effort to help the former prevail in the competition that has been unfolding between the two popular fantasy sports companies.
The Redskins wide receiver's name is seen in numerous FanDuel advertisements, including appearances in dozens of a 28-minute infomercial for FanDuel. Last year, Garçon did post a series of tweets promoting the company.
On the other hand, the defendant asserts that it has not done anything illegal and said that Garçon's suit has no basis. "We believe this suit is without merit. There is established law that fantasy operators may use player names and statistics for fantasy contests. FanDuel looks forward to continuing to operate our contests that sports fans everywhere have come to love," FanDuel spokeswoman Justine Sacco recently said in a statement, via ABC News.
In other Redskins updates, there are rumors floating around that the team may trade quarterback Kirk Cousins for Chicago Bears' Jay Cutler before the November 3 deadline. These speculations are instigated by ESPN's Greg Garber, who also made intriguing trade predictions for other NFL teams.
According to Garber, this is not the first time that the Redskins and Cutler have been connected. Back in 2009, Washington tried to acquire the quarterback, but he was eventually traded from Denver to Chicago in exchange for Kyle Orton along with two other first-round picks and a third-rounder.
Oddly enough, Jay Cutler's cap number this season is $16.5 million and the average amount for the remaining five years of his contract with the Bears is roughly 18 million annually. The Washington Redskins, with a median salary-cap cushion of $7.2 million, could likely make this trade work with some cooperation from the quarterback.