Are Commissioner Suspensions Really Any Different from Illegal Group Boycotts? Analyzing Whether the NFL Personal Conduct Policy Illegally Restrains Trade
32 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2009
Date Written: July 1, 2009
This Article explains why some courts would likely find the NFL Personal Conduct Policy to violate § 1 of the Sherman Act, and explores ways in which the NFL clubs could promote off-the-field decorum without risking antitrust liability. Part I of this Article discusses the underlying business structure of the NFL. Part II provides a brief overview of § 1 of the Sherman Act. Part III analyzes the legality of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy under § 1 of the Sherman Act. Part IV proposes four ways in which NFL clubs could promote positive off-the-field decorum without incurring antitrust risk.
Keywords: sports, law, sports law, antitrust, Sherman Act, group boycott, concerted refusal to deal, Rule of Reason, National Football League, NFL, commissioner, discipline, commissioner discipline, Michael Vick, Molinas, nonstatutory labor exemption
JEL Classification: L4, L40, A1, L11, L12, L44, L50, L83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation