Washington wide receiver Pierre Garcon has filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of NFL players against the daily fantasy sports site FanDuel, alleging it misuses players’ names and likenesses without proper licensing or permission.
NPR’s Nathan Rott reports for the Newscast unit:
“Attorneys for Garcon, say that FanDuel ‘knowingly and improperly exploits the popularity and performance,’ of Garcon and other NFL players without their permission.
“Their class-action lawsuit, filed in Maryland, goes on to say that the daily fantasy site uses the names and likenesses of NFL players, like Garcon, in television ads without their authority.”
Daily fantasy sports, namely FanDuel and its competitor, DraftKings, have exploded in popularity in recent years. DraftKings, however, reached an agreement with the NFL Players Association in September, which would seem to protect it from a similar lawsuit, Rott reports.
FanDuel has this comment on the suit:
“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 which sports fans everywhere have come to love.”
Garcon’s lawsuit isn’t the only potential legal trouble facing the daily fantasy industry.
Earlier this month, the New York State attorney general opened an investigation into the companies’ practices after questions emerged over whether employees for the daily fantasy companies use proprietary information to win thousands of dollars.
The investigation arose after an employee won hundreds of thousands of dollars, as we previously reported:
“On at least a temporary basis, the two large fantasy companies are barring their employees from games on either the Draft Kings or FanDuel site, after a DraftKings employee, in a seemingly inadvertent move, released data showing which NFL players were used in the most fantasy lineups — before some games had started.
“That same employee won $350,000 in a contest on the FanDuel site, reports theDaily Fantasy Sports site, which is using the scandal as a spur to call for regulationof the billion-dollar fantasy sports industry.”