Ravenwood - 11/30/05 07:15 AM
Senator Arlen Spector, R-PA, thinks the federal government should regulate football. He claims the suspension of NFL loudmouth Terrell Owens is unfair, and suggested that he might want to bring the issue before his own antitrust subcommittee.
The senator said the league and the Eagles had effectively blacklisted the all-pro wide receiver by forbidding him from playing and by banning other teams from talking to him. He called such treatment "vindictive and inappropriate."Spector is apparently confusing football with baseball, the country's only professional sport with a legal monopoly. He's apparently never heard of the USFL, XFL, CFL, or World League. Other teams are forbidden from talking to Owens because he's under contract to the Eagles. The player's union may take it to arbitration, but the Eagles will likely be stuck with having to pay Owens for not playing. The initial four game suspension is legal under league/player rules, but Owens must be paid for any other games he misses.
"It's a restraint of trade for them to do that, and the thought crosses my mind, it might be a violation of antitrust laws," Specter said. "The NFL can have whatever rules it wants on authorizing suspension or keeping you on the team for the balance of the year, but they can't violate the law."
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