NEW ORLEANS, La. (WDSU) —
The New Orleans Saints have joined the NFL in asking that the Louisiana Supreme Court rule against Saints fans in the NOLA no-call lawsuit.
In a brief filed Wednesday, the Saints thanked fans for their dedication, but agreed with the NFL that the matter should not be handled in court.
The filing read:
“The Saints are committed to excellence on and off the field. The Saints appreciate the fervor and dedication that this commitment engenders in their deep and passionate fan-base. The Saints appreciate that those fans are willing to take up what they may perceive to be the Saints’ cause. But taking up such a cause in this forum, in the courts, is not warranted, and is not in the Saints’ interests.”
Orleans Civil Court Judge Nicole Sheppard granted the request from lawyers of season ticket holders to move into the next phase of the court process.
The NFL has appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.
The discovery could include the deposition of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The unprecedented move would have Goodell answering questions about referees and possible intentional fraud.
The filing read:
“The Saints should be the sole advocate of their interest in the fair conduct of the events in which they participate. Louisiana law is clear that non-participant spectators and even the most dedicated of fans may not take up that mantel.”
Four Saints season ticket holders filed the lawsuit, alleging that the referees committed fraud by intentionally ignoring fouls late in the game to cost the team a shot at the Super Bowl.
Attorneys for the NFL called the case “Monday morning quarterbacking” and said the courts are no place for fans to air their disappointments.
The Saints issued the following statement:
“The Saints have always been completely supportive of our fans unbridled enthusiasm and understand their passion, in particular for the no-call situation in the NFC Championship game. In no way do we not appreciate the support. However, we also need to be mindful not to open a virtual Pandora’s Box that allows courts and judges to either affirm or reaffirm contests played on the field. Mrs. Benson and Coach Payton have worked diligently this off season through the proper channels at the league level to address these concerns.”