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Smith v. Pro Football, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
593 F.2d 1173 (1978)


James “Yazoo” Smith (plaintiff) was drafted by the Washington Redskins (defendant) in the 1968 pro football draft for a total salary of $50,000. During the 1968 season, Smith suffered a career-ending neck injury. Two years later, Smith filed suit against Pro Football, Inc., which operates the Redskins, and the National Football League (NFL) (defendant) alleging NFL’s draft violated antitrust laws. Specifically, Smith argued that, but for the draft, he would have secured a more lucrative contract that would have better protected him financially in the event he could no longer play due to injury. The district court held for Smith and the NFL appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Wilkey, J.)

Dissent (MacKinnon, J.)

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