I have not had a chance to review the decision itself yet, but if the summary of the ruling on the following link is accurate, there are numerous problems with the Federal Judge’s ruling in favor of the NFL against the former players’ Right of Publicity class action suit. I would expect an appeal to follow.
Just because an advertisement is presented as a pun or a joke does not shield it from liability. Don Henley, no stranger to protecting his Right of Publicity, has taken action against Duluth Trading Company in response to their email advertising campaign “Don A Henley, Take It Easy.” Well, he’s certainly identifiable from that use. Here’s a YouTube post with details on the claim: