Former NFL players sacked by appeals court

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Former NFL players sacked by appeals court
Six former NFL players who were suing the NFL and National Football Leagues Player Association for investment fraud have lost their appeal. Steve Atwater, Ray Crockett, Al Smith, Blaine Bishop, Carlos Emmons and Clyde Simmons claimed $20 million dollars
in losses, after an NFLPA appointed hedge fund manager was convicted of fraud.  
The three-judge panel of 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favour of the NFL, after they deemed that the league couldn’t be held responsible, since players are responsible for their own finances under the league’s current collective bargaining agreement.
Hedge fund manager Kirk Wright, whom ex-players claimed was endorsed by the union, is accused of leading a scheme that cost his clients millions of dollars. Wright hung himself in jail in May 2008 after being convicted.
The players, most of whom are former Denver Broncos, claimed they would not have invested in Wright’s hedge fund, had the NFLPA given them accurate information. The retired players argued that the NFLPA had Wright listed as a financial advisor, without thoroughly
conducting research about his company.
A federal judge ruled in favour of the NFL and the players union in April 2009, and the appeal reaffirmed the court’s decision on Tuesday 23 November. Richard Berthelsen, the player union’s general counsel, expressed his sympathy for those effected.
"We certainly feel for the players in the loss they suffered and we're as dedicated as ever to try to minimize the number of instances where players are misled by financial advisers who don't play by the rules."
He went on to say the court’s decision was a bittersweet victory, and that, "All we can do is continue our efforts to try to protect players whenever and wherever we can."
The player’s attorney Fidelma Fitzpatrick has said no decision has been made as of yet whether to file another appeal.   



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