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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  

Marc Edelman

City University of New York - Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business; Fordham University School of Law

Date Written: July 1, 2009

Abstract

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

Edelman, Marc, Are Commissioner Suspensions Really Any Different from Illegal Group Boycotts? Analyzing Whether the NFL Personal Conduct Policy Illegally Restrains Trade (July 1, 2009). Catholic University Law Review, Vol. 58, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1428480

Marc Edelman (Contact Author)

City University of New York - Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business ( email )

One Bernard Baruch Way
Box B9-220
New York, NY 10010
United States

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

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