The NFL is suing a New York City photographer who was caught buying a magazine, then later selling it to another photographer.
The lawsuit was filed Thursday in federal court in Manhattan by the league, its union and several photographers and photographers’ groups.
The suit says a photographer from a New Jersey photo studio in 2007 was told by the NFL that the magazine he purchased had been sold to another man and would not be returned.
The photographer then tried to contact the NFL, which he said was in the process of contacting him.
The league alleges the photographer’s efforts to reach the league failed and that he received no communication from the league about the sale of his photo.
The league says the photo was never returned.
“The NFL has failed to follow the proper process to protect its players and employees,” said David Parnell, an attorney for the photographers.
“The league must fix its faulty process to make sure that every player is able to buy and sell a magazine they want without fear of retaliation.”
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, names two New York photographers who were not named as defendants.
One photographer, a photojournalist who worked for the New York Post and who was not named in the lawsuit, worked for Sports Illustrated for four years before being hired by the New Jersey newspaper in 2006.
The other photographer, who was named in a separate lawsuit, was employed by Sports Illustrated and was fired in 2014.
Both photographers say they bought the photo of the magazine cover with the understanding that it would not return to the photographers unless they paid a $30 fee for it.
Both were told that the photo would not sell because the cover had been stolen.
The NFL’s lawsuit says the cover is worth $150,000.
It says the photographers paid $20 for the photo and received no return from the NFL.