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Report: Retired NFL Players Now Target EA, Madden

Report: Retired NFL Players Now Target EA, Madden

April 20, 2009 | By Kris Graft

April 20, 2009 | By Kris Graft
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After winning a $28 million video game licensing suit against the NFL Players Association, retired NFL players now appear to be regrouping for a new lawsuit against publisher Electronic Arts and retired broadcaster John Madden.

Retired Cleveland Browns defensive back Bernie Parrish claims in a post on fellow NFL retiree Dave Pear's blog that "Madden collected over $100 million in royalties while paying the retired NFL players used in those games absolutely nothing."

Parrish claims that along with the NFLPA, EA and Madden exploited the likenesses of retired NFL players in the hit Madden NFL franchise without paying out royalties.

"In my opinion, Madden should have been included in our licensing suit against the NFLPA and so should EA," Parrish wrote.

Parrish and over 2,000 retired NFL players filed suit last year against the NFLPA, the labor union for the NFL. A court awarded the class of retired players over $28 million, finding that the NFLPA purposely tried to cut out royalties for ex-players whose likenesses appeared in Madden NFL's "vintage teams."

With the recent retirement of Madden, Parrish claimed that the broadcaster will be in a better position to hide from fans who would purportedly ask, "Why did you screw all those retired players over, you seemed like such a friendly, good-natured buffoon?

EA Sports said last week that it has a long-term licensing contract with Madden that will extend into the broadcaster's retirement.

Parrish also called upon former players who collected from the NFLPA suit to contribute $1,000 each to a litigation "war chest" that will be used for future legal issues relating to retired players.

He said former players "stand to recover [hundreds] of millions of dollars over the coming years for their children and grandchildren."

Parrish also presented the possibility that "irregularities" in the original NFLPA trial could lead to a retrial "that will allow the award to be in the $100-plus million range where it should have been instead of only $28.1 million."


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