NFL Wants Lurtsema Held In Contempt For Letter On Settlement Talks
The NFL this afternoon is scheduled to argue in Minnesota federal court that former player Bob Lurtsema should be held in contempt of court and interrogated about who, if anyone, aided him in publishing a letter earlier this week purported to include details of settlement discussions between the league and retirees over use of their images in NFL Films. The court scheduled the hearing late yesterday after the NFL filed a flurry of motions on the topic. The NFL is also asking the court to require Lurtsema to take down the letter, which is posted on the retiree web site, DavePear.com.
Lurtsema, who played from '67-77, attended settlement discussions between the players and NFL last week. The court has placed a gag order on the parties. Lurtsema on Monday published a letter that detailed the talks, though the NFL’s motion disputes the accuracy of the retirees’ missive. “Lurtsema’s letter discloses (and distorts) many of the terms of the proposed settlement, in flagrant violation of the court’s repeated admonitions to all parties that the settlement negotiations, which are being conducted under the court’s supervision, must be held in strict confidence,” the NFL wrote.
The lawsuit, Dryer v NFL, filed in '09, alleges players have not been paid for NFL Films' use of their image, while the league says these rights were signed away in collective bargaining.