Professional football exists on all levels as a league sport. The importance of that simple statement is manifest. First, it means that football is not a loose confederation of independent personnel rosters but an organization of interdependent units. Furthermore, if a team is to continue in existence, it must remain competitive with every other team in its league. As a result, if all or at least the majority of teams in a league fail to maintain competitive equality, not only the lackluster teams but the league as well will probably face extinction. In an effort to maintain the competitive lifeblood of professional football, the leagues have established and enforced rules that restrict the method by which member teams shop for talent and direct how players, once selected, can change partners. This Note examines the antitrust implications of imposing such restrictive rules, and secondarily it studies the applicability of the antitrust laws to rules that have been endorsed through collective bargaining. The rules examined are those of the National Football League, and the vehicle for examining these rules are the questions raised in Kapp v. National Football League, wherein the court held that those rules were unreasonable restraints on trade.
Keith A. Prettyman,
The True Story of What Happens When the Big Kids Say, "It's My Football, and You'll Either Play by My Rules or You Won't Play at All": Kapp v. National Football League, 390 F. Supp. 973 (N.D. Cal. 1974),
55 Neb. L. Rev. 335
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol55/iss2/8