Who ever thought that European sports would be less subject to interference from European governments than US sports?
Today, useless grandstanding solipsist Arlen Specter (R-Penn.) announced the Philadelphia Eagles were "vindictive and inappropriate" for preventing Terrell Owens from playing for other teams and for suspending him.
This is just stupid. First, Specter's a lawyer and should know better -- restraints of trade are legal to the extent that they are necessary to protect a superior interest of the employer. In this case, Owens is prevented from playing in the NFL for 8 weeks to ensure the Eagles' trade secrets (their plays and scouting information) and competitive standing (he won't compete directly against them) are maintained.
Second, there is no restraint of trade when the person is STILL EMPLOYED BY THE INITIAL EMPLOYER. In other words, Owens still HAS a job and will be paid from now until the end of the season, therefore there is no restraint.
Third, Specter's theory that there is a right to play in the NFL this year that Owens has been denied because the Eagles and the NFL have enforced their rules (via an arbitration decision in their favor) to prevent Owens from landing another NFL job this season is the same postulate that the Second Circuit shot down in the Maurice Clarett case.
Ultimately, this is grandstanding garbage. The Senate is such a compilation of nannies and ninnies that it cannot even exercise restraint in areas that have nothing to do with the government. First, the disgraceful threatening of Major League Baseball; now this ridiculous attempt to oversee the NFL. The Senate is officially a confederacy of dunces and a national embarrassment and Specter is among the top dunces of the group.
"It's a restraint of trade for them to do that, and the thought crosses my mind, it might be a violation of antitrust laws," Specter said, though some other legal experts disagreed.
The Eagles suspended Owens on Nov. 5 for four games without pay for "conduct detrimental to the team, and deactivated him with pay on Sunday after the suspension ended.