Can Real Football Players Forbid Using Their Name In Daily Fantasy Sports?

By Daily Fantasy Focus

February 24, 2022

Daily fantasy sports is not a simple timepass anymore. It is a multi-billion dollar industry involving millions of sports enthusiasts. However, some stakeholders, including football players, do not endorse DFS contests. They think it hurts the spirit of the game. But can real football players forbid using their name in daily fantasy sports?

In the past, football players have gone to court to stop using their names in DFS contests. But the court verdicts went against them. The court said that the football players’ names are already available in the public domain. And for any US citizen, it is their constitutional first amendment right to use all the publicly available information without any restrictions. So, it is not legally possible to stop DFS platforms from using football players’ names.

This article explains why real-life football players cannot forbid daily fantasy sports platforms from using their names. It also elaborated on the situations where a football player can ask for money from the DFS entities. You will also know how much money a football player legally makes from participating in DFS contests and how much they earn from it.

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Can Real Football Players Forbid Using Their Name in Daily Fantasy Sports?

Many football players and league organizers raised the issue in different courts in the United States on several occasions. But the judicial system of the USA thinks that daily fantasy sports providers have the right to use the names and images of real football players without their consent. 

Because all information available in the public domain is usable by any US citizen. So, DFS platforms can use players’ names as a part of their rights protected under the first amendment.

The CBC Sports VS Major League Baseball Case

Once Major League Baseball authorities went to court accusing the DFS platform CBC Sports of infringing players’ personality rights by using their names and game statistics. MLB argued that CBC Sports used the identities of its players for commercial advantage. They claimed this was infringing the rights of MLB too.

After the hearing, the court verdict went against MLB. In the judgment, the court commented that CBC Sports used only the information that existed in the public domain. And restricting a US citizen from using information available to everyone will prevent him from exercising his constitutional first amendment right. 

However, fantasy football providers cannot use the images of the players or the logos and emblems of the clubs. So, real football players can forbid the DFS platforms from using their pictures. They can claim compensation if any DFS entity uses their image. However, they can not prevent the fantasy football platforms from using their names.

Can Real Football Players Ask For Money If Daily Fantasy Sports Uses Their Name?

In the eyes of the US judicial system, the names of NFL players are public information, and nobody can patent any publicly available information. So, there is no scope for the football players to ask for money from the daily fantasy sports platforms if they use their names.

However, if any fantasy sports entity uses images of real football players, they must ink an agreement with the players.

While negotiating the accord, football players can ask for money from the daily fantasy sports platforms. Unfortunately for the players, the laws of England and Wales do not prohibit DFS entities from using the images of players. 

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Do Real Football Players Earn From Daily Fantasy Sports?

The rules and regulations of the NFL restrict its players from gambling or taking part in any money-related contests. But there is no restriction for the NFL players to participate in any Daily Fantasy Sports contest.

However, players cannot earn from DFS contests like any other person. Another rule of the NFL prohibits them from taking monetary rewards from any competition. 

The Maximum Limit is $250 

According to regulations, NFL players can participate in daily fantasy sports contests but cannot earn more than $250. That is the maximum limit for an NFL player to make money from any competition. The rule is also applicable to the coaches, executives, and all other staff of the NFL. Violation of the regulation can cause a temporary or permanent ban for the players. 

The rule aims to prevent any conflict of interest since an NFL player or other staff member has preferential access to information. And the data could give him some unfair advantages in DFS contests. On the other hand, the outcome of DFS can also affect the performance of an NFL player if he has any monetary interest in the fantasy game.

The Criticism

However, many think the NFL’s rule that lets players play only to earn $250 is a farce. Because logically, it is not possible to prove that DFS contests are any different than pure gambling, and gambling is not allowed for any NFL player.

Critics say, like any other form of gambling, participating in DFS events should also be restricted to professional football players. 

Some others think it is ridiculous to prevent NFL players from participating in DFS contests. Many fantasy football organizers allow anonymous players. And if an NFL player hides his identity while contesting DFS events, it is impossible to implicate him.

Some critics believe the only way to save the sanity of the NFL is to ban any gambling involving it.

Like any other gambling form, DFS is held responsible for the bankruptcy of thousands of people. In the long run, this is giving a bad name to football. Social media is full of references to sports enthusiasts turning hostile towards the game after losing their money in DFS contests. 

Besides, when a fan invests money in a player, he thinks of the player as his pawn. It means all the honor and respect he once had for the player ultimately vanishes. The fan will get angry if he loses money because of poor performance by the player.

How Many Football Players Earn Money from DFS?

Sports reporter Adam Caplan reports, one-fourth of the NFL players he interviewed anonymously admitted participating in Daily Fantasy Sports. Dallas Cowboys player Ken Bishop once said, about half of the NFL players play fantasy football. I think people play, but they don’t talk about it- were the exact words of Ken Bishop. 

The mass denial of NFL players indicates that they are making much more than $250 from DFS contests. They know that no one can implicate them for irregularities because they do not use their real identity in the DFS world. Though the involvement of NFL players in DFS contests is now an open secret, the authorities seem indifferent to this issue.

Daily Fantasy Focus

About the author

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFF) is a resource to help you learn how to use Daily Fantasy Sports platforms.

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