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Bernie Kosar Files $850K Lawsuit After Losing Browns Broadcasting Job Over Bet

by News7

Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty ImagesFormer Cleveland Browns quarterback and franchise legend Bernie Kosar is suing Bigplay, a sports media company, after alleging that it mandated him to place a $19,000 wager on his former team, a bet that ultimately led to him losing his pregame radio show analyst gig with the franchise.

Kosar is looking for over $850,000 in damages as well as roughly $25,000 in attorneys’ fees. A copy of the lawsuit can be found here, via Alec Sapolin of 19 News.

Kosar once worked as an analyst on the Browns’ pregame radio show. However, that relationship ended following the bet, which was for the Browns to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Jan. 8, 2023 (Pittsburgh won 28-14).

The Browns released a statement on the matter, per’s Mary Kay Cabot.

“Earlier this week we notified Bernie, that per league policy, we were required to remove him from our pregame radio coverage for the season finale after he violated the NFL gambling policy by placing a bet on an NFL game. We understand what Bernie means to this community and our history but as team contracted personnel hired to provide content on our media platforms, his bet was a violation of NFL rules and we must adhere to all NFL policy.”

Regarding Kosar’s relationship with the company, the quarterback’s complaint states he signed a talent contract with them around December 30, 2022. Kosar would then make podcast appearances and take part in in-person events, per Corey Vallas of WFMJ.

ESPN’s Daniel Oyefusi explained more details from the lawsuit, which also names co-owner Kendall Myles as a defendant and claims that Myles verbally assaulted and threatened the former signal-caller.

“According to the lawsuit, the agreement called for Kosar to place a wager on a sports betting app for a New Year’s party charity event and that Kosar would ‘not be liable, nor responsible, for the amount of the wager nor will be entitled to any winnings that may occur as a result of the wager.’

“The lawsuit also alleges Myles verbally assaulted and threatened Kosar and claims there are multiple instances in which the contract was not honored. According to the lawsuit, Myles attempted to renegotiate terms of the agreement in September 2023 and two weeks after Kosar declined, his contract was wrongfully terminated.”

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, a labor attorney, provided his insight on the matter.

“True or false, Kosar had a dilemma. The NFL’s gambling policy prohibits wagering. His deal with BIGPLAY required him to place a wager. Even if his BIGPLAY contract said he wouldn’t be liable or responsible for the bet, and that he wouldn’t get any of the winnings, that’s not binding on the NFL.

“Unless the BIGPLAY contract also promised to compensate Kosar for any collateral losses he might experience because of the wagers (including but not limited to the loss of his job with the Browns), this could be a tough one for the former quarterback to win.

“In hindsight, he should have been sure that one employer wouldn’t object to something another employer wanted him to do.”

Kosar played in the NFL from 1985 to 1996. He’s best known for his time with the Browns from 1985 to 1993, when he led Cleveland to the AFC Championship Game on three different occasions. The one-time Pro Bowler threw for 116 touchdowns and 21,904 yards during his Cleveland tenure.

Source : Bleacher Report

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