Welcome to PatsFans.com

Man sues NFL for $50 million for discrimination against non-Seattle fans

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by SB39, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. primetime

    primetime Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    5,198
    Likes Received:
    85
    Ratings:
    +328 / 24 / -22

    #18 Jersey

    As I noted above, equal protection enters the equation in a "place of public accommodation" - a stadium (along with restaurants and hotels, most notably) is specifically designated as such.

    There's a more stringent guideline for places of public accommodation beyond the protected categories, in which it is unlawful to refuse service (i.e. refuse to sell tickets) for arbitrary reasons; there needs to be a legitimate business reason to do so. In this case, the argument that there is a legitimate business reason is that more home team fans make the team more likely to win a game and teams that are win more games achieve greater revenues, both of which you can almost certainly show strong evidence of in the data.

    Therefore, there's a very strong case that it isn't discrimination, but the suit isn't as frivolous as it looks on the face.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Uncle Meat

    Uncle Meat Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0

    Logic, or even the law, may not play the biggest part in this thing if that guy lawyers up well enough. There are plenty of scumbag lawyers willing to try to exploit things like this at astronomical prices. Dismiss it as frivolous, but the NFL might settle.

    A man just sued the Buffalo Bills because they gave him THREE more text messages than he signed up for. The Bills said they would send out no more than five text messages per week, and 13 were sent out over a two-week period...that's 3 more text messages than we thought.

    Anyway, this asswipe lawyers up to the tune of $562,500 dollars, which the Bills ended up paying. The Buffalo Bills agreed to pay up to $3 million – largely in the form of debit cards redeemable only at the team store to the tragic victims of this class-action lawsuit. The asswipe himself only got 5 grand after all this. Now the Bills no longer offer text-messages I hear, and probably because of this asswipe.

    Bills agree to $3 million settlement in fan's text-message lawsuit - The Buffalo News

    So you never know about these BS lawsuits. In this case, it will be interesting to see what kind of precedence the NFL sets by either paying this guy to go away or paying to defend themselves. I wouldn't just assume that these things are always laughed out of court anymore, especially when there are lawyers involved that know how to manipulate the system.

    I mean, this guy sued a dry cleaning business for $67 million for allegedly losing his pants, which itself is questionable. I think this particular asswipe was a judge, and this thing dragged on for a long time, substantially hurting the dry cleaners for a time. Look up "Pearson vs. Chung" if you want. It's just amazing what can happen.
    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Messages:
    14,914
    Likes Received:
    324
    Ratings:
    +892 / 7 / -7

    #24 Jersey

    The guy that sued the Bills was a former judge and sued a dry cleaning business, or the guy that is suing the Seahawks was a former judge and sued a dry cleaning business? I suppose I could just look it up, but I'm lazy like that ;)

    I agree with some of your comments. While I do not believe that it is discrimination in the formal definition (as primetime has pointed out), I do believe that stranger things have happened. As you say, the precedence alone is worth paying close attention to. It could change things pretty dramatically, although I'm going to guess that nothing comes from it myself.
  4. Uncle Meat

    Uncle Meat Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    565
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0

    Jeez. The guy who sued the dry cleaning business over his pants was a judge at the time he pursued it. Sorry if I wasn't clear. There were three different things...the guy suing the Bills for getting 3 two many text messages, the guy suing the Seahawks, and the judge suing the dry cleaning business. By the way, they didn't keep him on as a judge after his term was up because he demonstrated his apparent lack of judgment here.

    We'll see. I don't know enough about the law to predict. I know enough to know that the law can be manipulated, though. I personally don't see anything wrong with offering your own fanbase playoff tickets and assigning that the priority. I hope this doesn't change how teams go about it.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. lurker1965

    lurker1965 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,777
    Likes Received:
    48
    Ratings:
    +109 / 6 / -7

    No Jersey Selected

    San Francisco? The major "other" expected market was SF? You can honestly think of no way that can be twisted?
    I'll help if it isn't obvious. "It was just geography. It is not our fault that the darn queers are 49er fans."
  6. 1960Pats

    1960Pats Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,390
    Likes Received:
    37
    Ratings:
    +110 / 8 / -26

    #75 Jersey

    I don't think a business owner should be forced to sell anything to anyone and a consumer shouldn't be forced to buy anything from anyone.

    If I was the owner of the Pats I wouldn't want other team's fans here, especially those yuk green ones. Lucky for them that Krafty is such a good guy and lets them in. :rolleyes:
    • Agree Agree x 2
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
  7. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    10,008
    Likes Received:
    66
    Ratings:
    +155 / 3 / -1

    So, you're saying that, while some might argue that denying service in this case on the basis of a potential patron's geographic location is not legitimate, it's more likely that it would be judged to be legitimate under the circumstances. That's a reasonable position. I have no idea whether that's how it would turn out, but it's reasonable.
  8. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    10,008
    Likes Received:
    66
    Ratings:
    +155 / 3 / -1

    You're conflating two separate issues.

    Red Lining is illegal because it is a thinly disguised pretext for discrimination on the basis of race.

    Denying tickets to someone outside of a preferred geography would only be comparable to red lining if it were accompanied by a pattern that suggests a bias against a particular race or ethnicity. This would be the case if the program that sorts ticket applications accepted one application because it came from a zip code whose residents were primarily of one race while it systematically rejected applications of applications from zip codes with a different racial profile. Denying service to me because I live in New York is different than denying service to me because I live in a New York zip code characterized by a particular racial or ethnic majority.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  9. lurker1965

    lurker1965 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,777
    Likes Received:
    48
    Ratings:
    +109 / 6 / -7

    No Jersey Selected

    "You mean New Yoook City where dem Jews are?"
    Face it, anything can be twisted. You and JMT would make lousy lawyers. (Yes, that is a compliment.:))
  10. primetime

    primetime Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    5,198
    Likes Received:
    85
    Ratings:
    +328 / 24 / -22

    #18 Jersey

    The best example I can make to illustrate how the law is interpreted is in the case of a rock concert held at CenturyLink Field. Imagine the same geographical quota was used when selling tickets to the rock concert. Then, the case for discrimination would be much stronger because you really have to stretch to come up with a strong legitimate business reason for refusing the sell tickets to people from outside the Seattle area. It would be pretty much the definition of arbitrary refusal of service.

    But a Seahawks game is different because there is a distinct advantage to having a friendly crowd for the team and thus for the business. If you have the same quality of lawyer on both sides (this won't happen, the Seahawks have a lot more money anyways), the Seahawks would still win because their case is much stronger. But it's not a frivolous suit, either.

    As you noted in regards to redlining, it gets a little more complicated when geography is used as a proxy for discrimination on ethnic, racial, or religious lines, but that's irrelevant in this particular case.
  11. Joker

    Joker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2004
    Messages:
    17,255
    Likes Received:
    660
    Ratings:
    +1,794 / 16 / -21

    Speaking of lawsuits, I sued my ex-wife in court for alienation of affection. Essentially, my argument was I came home from a tough day at work and caught her with E.T.'s glow finger stuck in a nasty place, I asked the court to award me $50 billion dollars and/or the future mineral rights on his home world.Unfortunately ,the judge must have been a space alien himself. He awarded me THIS....

    [​IMG]

    and then he said "phone a cab to take you home and sit on THAT for a month"...it's all an alien conspiracy I tell ya...
    • :confused:
  12. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    10,008
    Likes Received:
    66
    Ratings:
    +155 / 3 / -1

    No need for further explanation. I was just trying to summarize your point in a couple of lines. To use other terminology, I'll accept your reasonably-stated and documented stipulation that the matter is complicated, while reserving the right to observe that how it would ultimately be adjudicated is unclear.
  13. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    10,008
    Likes Received:
    66
    Ratings:
    +155 / 3 / -1

    Thanks.

    I will indeed take that as a compliment, while also standing by my original statement: "Denying service to me because I live in New York is different than denying service to me because I live in a New York zip code characterized by a particular racial or ethnic majority."
    • Like Like x 1
  14. lurker1965

    lurker1965 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,777
    Likes Received:
    48
    Ratings:
    +109 / 6 / -7

    No Jersey Selected

    Is there any neighborhood, anywhere, that with a small bit of research one can claim some sort? I mean Harlem is obvious, but Manhattan is full of yuppies (or Jews, I do not know NY). Queens I'm guessing is working class Italians and Irish (re: mob ties and drunks)

    I don't know many cities neighborhoods, but don't they all have chinatowns, a gay neighborhood, a black neighborhood, 1 or 2 ethnic neighborhoods, a gated community are ("F! the 1%"), etc.(Yes, there is intermixing, but do you think Whitey Bulger in South Boston, or Italian mafia?)
  15. primetime

    primetime Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    5,198
    Likes Received:
    85
    Ratings:
    +328 / 24 / -22

    #18 Jersey

    Housing discrimination is a different beast, but you're sort of missing the point. There's a difference between self-segregation and discrimination. In theory, there should be nothing wrong with the former because it speaks to a human impulse to in-group biases. In-groups are not necessarily based on religion, national origin, or race but in practice in the United States they often are (as well as income level, education, etc.) due to historical circumstance.

    Most people want to live near people who look, think, and act like them. It's natural. I'm not a believer in diversity for diversity's sake. The only problem is that, in the US, separate is inherently unequal because of historical practices like redlining and how cities developed, follow by divestment in poor communities - and people of color are, on average, much more likely to live in a neighborhood of concentrated poverty (and growing up in a poor neighborhood, even if you're middle class, actually impacts you more than growing up low-income regardless of race).

    The issue with housing discrimination is that it actively prevents choice. People have the choice to create Chinatowns and Southies and often do because of in-group biases, and they should have the choice not to live in them, as well. But with redlining and other discriminatory practices which were outlawed in 1968 (but still happen in less obvious and systematic ways now), people were actively prevented from living where they wanted to and could afford to live. When a black person (or immigrant) moved into a neighborhood, everybody's mortgage was downgraded and most people couldn't afford their homes. So they moved. Not out of hatred, but out of realistic self-interest. And then they created covenants where the neighborhood wouldn't sell to black people or immigrants - because they knew they would lose their homes, not because they hated black people.

    (For this reason, I think it's not useful to conflate racism with bigotry. Bigotry is a corruption in the souls of people. Racism is a corruption in institutions and systems. People can benefit from racist policy out of self-interest without being even remotely bigoted themselves)

    Refusing to rent to people from Manhattan specifically because they were from Manhattan would not be discriminatory because geographic discrimination is not actionable under the Fair Housing Act and because Manhattan is a diverse geography (refusing to rent to Jews from Manhattan would be actionable, obviously). On the other hand, there would be a strong case that refusing to rent to people from Borough Park, Brooklyn would be actionable because Borough Park is majority Hasidim.

    This is, after all, why courts exist, to hear arguments and decide based on the law whether something is unlawful or not.

    The relevance of housing discrimination to this case of selling tickets, though, is almost none. It would be impossible to make the case that "not living in Seattle" could constitute discrimination on any of the protected categories (race, religion, color, national origin). Instead, the argument would be that it is an arbitrary discrimination with no legitimate business purpose. But, as I've noted before, the argument that there is a legitimate business purpose is much stronger.
  16. lurker1965

    lurker1965 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,777
    Likes Received:
    48
    Ratings:
    +109 / 6 / -7

    No Jersey Selected

    You are looking at my finger instead of where I'm pointing.:) Forget Real Estate. I'm using "red lining" because it is shorter than saying "discrimination of a group based on the neighborhood in which they live."

    So refusing service based on zip code is OK? You just allowed every racist to legally discriminate against residents of Harlem. Or refuse to sell tickets to residents from Borough Park.

    Again the out of towners going to the NFCC were not likely from Iowa. If any from Iowa were caught up with "dem dang gays from San Fran" they are like a white family in Harlem.

    Wait a minute. I just reread your last sentence. You admit there is discrimination but there is a REAL GOOD REASON.

    So my soda counter at Wollworth's has a REAL GOOD REASON to not seat negros.:)

    Do you seriously want to stick with that defense?
    Last edited: May 8, 2014
  17. primetime

    primetime Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2005
    Messages:
    5,198
    Likes Received:
    85
    Ratings:
    +328 / 24 / -22

    #18 Jersey

    Um... race, color, national origin, and religion are specifically protected categories under the Civil Rights Act. It's never lawful to refuse service on those grounds in places of public accommodation such as stadiums and restaurants. This includes proxies for any of these specifically protected categories, such as your example of refusing service to people from a specific zip code as a proxy for race or religion.

    It is lawful to refuse service on other categories that are not specifically protected only in the case that there is a legitimate business reason that makes the discrimination non-arbitrary. This is what allows businesses to offer specific discounts to women on Mother's Day or people wearing green shirts on St. Patrick's Day, for instance.

    For example, the Seahawks have a strong argument in my mind and therefore a legitimate case as to why they are refusing service to people outside Seattle . "People from San Francisco" are not a specifically protected category, and I don't think you could make an even slightly plausible case that it stands in for any protected category, and there is a legitimate business reason for this discrimination (home fans, better chance of winning, more revenue).

    On the other hand, if the Seahawks had quotas on the number of women and children, for instance, that would probably be arbitrary and therefore unlawful. However, you could imagine a scenario in which there was a legitimate business reason for different selling to women, for instance (the aforementioned discounts on Mother's Day). On the other hand, the Seahawks would never have a legitimate case for either quotas or discounts for Catholics or Hispanics (or a proxy for that, such as "name starts with Mc or ends in a z")

    Housing discrimination is similar but different. There are additional specifically protected categories for discrimination in sale, rent, and financing beyond those in the Civil Rights Act including gender, disability status, sexual orientation, and family status.
    Last edited: May 9, 2014

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>