Sports | August 7, 2020 6:00 am

Ex-NFL Players Sue Over Shady 40-Yard Dash Tournament

Organizers of the 40 Yards of Gold event stiffed the players who participated

Ex-NFL Players Sue Over Shady 40-Yard Dash Tournament
Defensive back Kyle Dugger runs the 40-yard dash during the 2020 NFL Combine. (Joe Robbins/Getty)
Getty Images

Two former NFL players who participated in the 40 Yards of Gold racing event last summer are suing the organizers of the tournament for stiffing them on payment.

During the event, nearly two dozen former and current NFL players competed in an NCAA-style bracket tournament to see who could run the fastest 40-yard dash with $2 million in prize money on the line, supposedly.

But, just before the event was held at the BB&T Center last June, participants — who had all been promised a minimum of $25,000 — were told not to cash the checks they had been given and instead give their bank account information to one of the tournament’s organizers, according to The Athletic.

Now, after still not being paid more than a year later, two of the contestants (former Raider Jacoby Ford and ex-Viking Jeff Badet) have filed a lawsuit against the 40 Yard of Gold organization and one of its founders, Dr. Alijah Bradley.

“We have alleged an ongoing scheme of fraud and we seek to recover every dollar on behalf of our clients,” Ford and Badet’s lawyer, Robert C. Johnson, wrote in an email. “In today’s time, professional athletes are victimized and taken advantage of. We seek to hold every Defendant responsible in this case to the fullest extent Florida law allows. Professional athletes are targeted because of their purse strings. Just because professional athletes have money does not mean it is free for the taking.”

Marquise Goodwin, who played for the 49ers last season but was traded to the Eagles and has since opted out of the 2020 NFL season, won the event last summer.

He posed with an oversized check and should have pocketed $1 million for winning. It is unclear if he received that sum or any amount of money for his victory.

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