The NFL Players Association, the labor union representing players in the National Football League, has been ordered to pay $28 million to retired members for the uncompensated use of their likenesses in products such as Electronic Arts' Madden NFL game series.
In November, a San Francisco federal jury found the NFLPA to be responsible for $7.1 million in royalties to NFL players who were represented in "vintage teams" in Madden titles -- as opposed to the current NFL players who headline the games.
An additional $21 million in damages were also awarded to the players. According to a Bloomberg report, over 2,000 players may be owed royalties for their appearance in video games and elsewhere.
Following an appeal by the NFLPA, a Northern California U.S. District Court judge has upheld the original ruling, which was made last last year.
However, the ruling was made only against the union, and did not involve Electronic Arts itself, which licenses player usage from the NFLPA.