Redskins’ Pierre Garcon suing FanDuel on Behalf of Players

Daily fantasy sports have faced increased scrutiny from lawmakers in recent weeks. And now, even pro athletes are putting pressure on DFS sites, with Washington Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon filing a class-action lawsuit against FanDuel.

The lawsuit alleges that FanDuel is using players’ names without permission to make profits.

“This case is about FanDuel trying to profit on plaintiff Garcon’s success, and that of other NFL athletes, without compensating them,” the lawsuit reads.

Interestingly enough, Garcon was actually paid to promote FanDuel last year; however, this business relationship has ended. Now the wide receiver wants compensation because FanDuel promotes its contests “on the backs of NFL players, whose popularity and performance make the Defendant’s commercial daily fantasy football product possible.”

FanDuel is the second-largest DFS site in the world, trailing only DraftKings in popularity. DraftKings is not named in Garcon’s lawsuit because they have a licensing and marketing agreement with the NFL Players Association.

“Otherwise they (DraftKings) would have been sued, too,” said attorney Daniel Wallach, a sports and gambling law expert in Florida who spoke with USA Today. “I see this as an attorney sensing an opportunity and taking advantage of the absence of a licensing agreement.”

For its part, FanDuel does not believe that they’re violating any rules or laws by using professional athletes to push their DFS contests.

“There is established law that fantasy operators may use player names and statistics for fantasy contests,” the site wrote. “FanDuel looks forward to continuing to operate our contests which sports fans everywhere have come to love.”

This is just the latest blow to DFS, which was recently barred from Nevada. The Silver State wants to protect their regulated online gaming industry and believes that unregulated DFS sites are a threat to their success.

Lawmakers have also publicly questioned whether the DFS industry should continue operating without any sort of safeguards or regulation in place. New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. is one such Congressman, as he questioned why DFS should operate legally when his home state doesn’t have the right to legal sportsbooks.

Garcon’s lawsuit brings another angle to this matter, one in which pro athletes believe that they deserve some compensation too.