The NFL and philosophy collide

This is in regard to the current anti-trust lawsuit brought against the NFL which is at the Supreme Court.  An interesting intersection of philosophy (what is it to be a “single entity”) and football.

“In American Needle, the NFL argued that they are a single entity, and thus incapable of violating Section 1 [of the Sherman Act] (because a single entity cannot reach an agreement with itself). The NFL concedes that they do not look like a traditional single entity — that is, a single firm with a single owner. Instead, the NFL argues that they are a single entity because the NFL is a product that can only be created by cooperation among its teams, and none of its teams have any economic value without the league. The NFL’s argument is that the product created by the NFL teams is an interconnected series of games (the regular season) that leads to a playoffs, that eventually produces a Super Bowl champion, and that no individual team can produce this product on its own. Rather, the teams must make a series of agreements with each other–where to play, when to play, under what rules, etc. The NFL believes that this interdependence and need for cooperation renders the league a single entity, and that all of the agreements made by the league and its teams –ranging from scheduling to free agency restrictions to salary cap rules to franchise relocation restrictions –should thus not be subject to scrutiny under Section 1.”

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About Kleiner

Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Utah State University. I teach across the curriculum, but am most interested in continental philosophy, ancient and medieval philosophy as well as Catholic thought, all of which might be summed up as an interest in the ressourcement tradition (returning in order to make progress). I also enjoy spending time thinking about liberal education and its ends.

2 thoughts on “The NFL and philosophy collide

  1. Huenemann

    I think the NFL really is that goofy robot guy seen on the lower left hand corner of the screen from time to time. Definitely a single entity. Or maybe less.

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