The NFL has been the most popular sports league for a number of years and continues to grow. With that growth, there are questions about what the NFL can and cannot do as a business. There have been a number of scandals recently with gambling, including Super Bowl betting and insider trading. This has led more people to question if the outcome of games may be rigged or fixed. Can the NFL legally rig games? That answer is no. The NFL cannot legally rig games because it would violate laws against unfair competition, antitrust laws, and fiduciary duty — all of which are related to business ethics and conduct. That being said, there are certain rules that protect teams from having their best interests at heart when it comes to their performance on the field. Let’s explore this in further detail by answering the following question:
Can The NFL Legally Rig Games?
In a word, yes. Yes, they can. It’s really not a secret that the NFL controls everything that happens on the field. The real-life NFL is basically like the fake corporations in the movie The Campaign except without the hilarious jokes and with fewer explosions.
Why Isn’t NFL Allowed To Rig Games?
- The NFL is a public corporation and can’t act in secret to fix games for the benefit of one or two teams.
- NFL players are not employees of the NFL, but rather independent contractors who can’t be forced to work for an employer at gunpoint.
- The NFL is a private business. It doesn’t have to answer to the government and it can hire whomever it wants, including criminals, drug dealers, and terrorists.
- The NFL isn’t a monopoly because it isn’t owned by one person or group of people (e.g., the New York Yankees). There are dozens of teams with different owners and the league’s revenues come from TV contracts, advertising deals, merchandise sales, etc., not from ticket sales or stadium concessions (which are also split among all teams). If there is collusion among teams just to keep ticket prices high (and profit margins high), that’s something that only the fans should be concerned about and the Justice Department should investigate. Not the NFL itself!
- The same thing goes for antitrust lawsuits against individual teams as well as against individual players who don’t agree with some team’s play calling or play selection.
- The NFL is a for-profit business, not a charitable organization. It makes money from TV contracts and from corporate sponsors (who don’t want to be associated with the negative publicity that comes along with scandals like the one involving Ben Roethlisberger).
- If a team is found guilty of collusion, it will face a crippling fine and perhaps even be banned from postseason play if it doesn’t cooperate with an investigation by the Justice Department and/or the NFLPA (which would also happen if there are serious allegations of criminal activity by players). In other words, it’s in the best interest of all teams (including those who might be accused of colluding) to cooperate fully with any investigation that might lead to such sanctions. That’s how monopolies work!
- It’s not just about gambling on games; it goes deeper than that. The NFL has been accused of rigging games for years, but the most recent scandal involves allegations that at least four teams have been involved in fixing games against their opponents for years — including at least one game played this year! Why do you think that is? Because this isn’t about gambling on football games; it’s about gambling on the integrity of the game.
- The NFL has a history of corruption and scandals (e.g., gambling scandals, steroid scandals, etc.), but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t also had its share of positive moments (e.g., raising millions of dollars for charity, helping to raise awareness of some important social issues).
- The NFL is a very popular sport and one that is watched by millions of people every week across the country and across the world. It’s not like you can just stop watching it because there’s some controversy involved! If you want to stop watching football because there are problems with the league, then go ahead and stop watching football — but don’t blame other people if they don’t agree with your decision!
NFL Collusion Rules
- The NFL and the NFL Players Association have rules in place to prevent collusion.
- The NFLPA is supposed to receive notice of any possible collusion meetings before the meetings occur.
- If the NFLPA receives notice of a meeting, they are required to send a representative to attend and report back any information they may find during their investigation.
If The NFLPA Finds That There Was Indeed Collusion, The Penalties For Both Parties Would Be Severe
– A fine from $100,000 – $1 million for each player involved in the meeting or tampering with another’s contract or negotiations for their own benefit (and/or their agent’s)
– Suspension of any player involved in either violation up to six games (for players not on a team’s active roster) or one year (for players on an active roster) without pay and without a right of appeal (players are not allowed to work out while suspended)
– If after six games have been served by suspended players, they are still found guilty of colluding against their team, they can be fined up to $500,000 per game that they were found guilty of colluding against their team.
– If the suspended player is found to have colluded when he was still on the team’s active roster, he can be suspended for up to two years without pay and without a right of appeal (players are not allowed to work out while suspended).
– The NFLPA can file a lawsuit against the team for collusion.
- If a player signs with another team before his suspension has ended, the new team will have to pay the old team an amount equal to the salary that they would be paying the player had they not signed him. This amount can be increased if it is determined that there was collusion between both teams during negotiations. Even if there was no collusion between both teams, both teams will still have to pay this amount if it is determined that there was collusion between both teams during contract negotiations or tampering with another’s contract or negotiations for their own benefit (and/or their agent’s).
- The NFLPA can file a lawsuit against any player who is found guilty of colluding against his team.
- Any player who is found guilty of colluding with another team while on suspension will receive a fine from $20,000 – $200,000 per game that they were found guilty of colluding (and/or tampering with another’s contract or negotiations for their own benefit (and/or their agent’s)). However, both teams will only be fined up to $500,000 if collusion was found during contract negotiations or tampering with another’s contract or negotiations for their own benefit (and/or their agent’s). This amount can be increased if it is determined that there was collusion between both teams during contract negotiations or tampering with another’s contract or negotiations for their own benefit. If collusion was found during contract negotiations or tampering with another’s contract or negotiations for their own benefit (and/or their agent’s), then both teams will be fined up to $1,000,000 if collusion was found between both teams.
The NFL cannot legally rig games. The very nature of sports makes it impossible to guarantee a win or loss. In addition, the NFL has rules against colluding with other teams. Rigging games go against the culture of football, which is known for its hard-hitting, aggressive play. That being said, the NFL can legally manipulate games to get the outcomes it wants. And even though the NFL cannot rig games, there are plenty of examples where the league has tried to influence outcomes.