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Junior Galette files $300 million lawsuit against NFL, NFLPA, Roger Goodell

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There are at the very least two Florida residents who’re representing themselves in legal matters this week.

Former NFL defensive end Junior Galette has occasionally on social media (and possibly elsewhere) complained that he has been blackballed from pro football. On Tuesday, he took steps to prove his claims.

In a 21-page lawsuit filed within the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Galette sued the league, the NFL Players Association, Commissioner Roger Goodell, and several other teams — the Seahawks, Rams, Raiders, Browns, Chiefs, Panthers, and Commanders. Galette, who spent eight years within the NFL, represents himself.

The grievance specifically contends that Galette has been blackballed “similar to Colin Kaepernick and placed on the blacklist BY THE NFL OWNERS” for speaking out about alleged racial discrimination committed against him by the Commanders. Galette’ allegation of discrimination focuses on the disparity within the contract given to Trent Murphy and the deal offered to Galette in 2018. Galette alleges that, based on the offer he received, he posted on Snapchat: “I swear to god I’m not playing for no slave deals I’ll die before I play for more slave deals.”

Galette alleges that, after making his statement on social media, he was unable to land an appropriate job with one other NFL. He contends, for instance, that he visited with the Raiders, where coach Jon Gruden allegedly told Galette that he’s “probably the greatest pass rushers I even have ever seen but all now we have otherwise you is veteran’s minimum 660k.”

Likewise, Galette claims he opted to sign for the veteran minimum with the Rams. Coach Sean McVay allegedly told Galette, “I can’t wait so that you can get here you already know a lot of the guys we’re all fired up.” Galette says that defensive assistant Joe Barry asked Galette to choose a jersey number. Then, per Galette, as he was preparing to practice, a staff member told him that there was a “change of plans,” and that Galette was taken back to the airport.

The lawsuit seeks $300 million in damages from the varied defendants.

The NFL declined to comment. Presumably, the league will argue that the claims should exclusively be resolved by the available devices under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. That’s the approach Kaepernick used.

There’s also a possible defense based on the applicable statutes of limitations.

While anyone and everybody has a right to represent themselves in court, this typically happens only after lawyer after lawyer have declined to supply representation. It could have been a steep uphill battle with a lawyer; without one, Galette could have a really hard time getting anywhere, either in court or in arbitration.

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