St. Louis judge fines NFL owners; Contempt hearing set for December

Sports

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Lawyers for the National Football League and the St. Louis interests suing them over Stan Kroenke’s move of the Rams to Los Angeles were back in a St. Louis circuit courtroom Wednesday afternoon, with the judge in the case asking sharp questions about why several league owners have failed abide by a previous motion months after they were ordered to do so.

Judge Christopher McGraugh had already ordered Kroenke and several other team owners to turn over financial records. The owners of the Chiefs, Cowboys, Patriots and Giants have so far failed to comply fully with the order. The records would help St. Louis attorneys know how much they could seek in damages in the case, which is scheduled to go to trial in January. Rams owner Stan Kroenke has provided 2,300 pages of documents and signed a sworn statement to his net worth.

McGraugh issued fines to the Chiefs’ Clark Hunt ($5K), the Patriots’ Robert Kraft ($5K), the Cowboys’ Jerry Jones ($6K), and the Giants’ John Mara ($8K), and also ordered the reimbursement of $25,000 worth of St. Louis legal fees.

“It feels like the Bowery boys are running this league,” Judge McGraugh said, a reference to a 19th century New York street gang, and oddly enough a series of movie shorts that once aired on KPLR 11.
He said it feels like we’re in a three-card Monty game.

Up next is a show cause hearing where the NFL lawyers will have to show cause as to why their clients should not be held in contempt of court for not providing those records. That hearing is scheduled for December 3 at 1:30pm.

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