Pacman Set To Sue ESPN

Thursday, January 08, 2009

By now, you've all heard that Adam "Pacman" Jones was dropped by the Dallas Cowboys, and that it's been alleged by ESPN that the cornerback was involved in yet another strip club shooting in June of 2007. Well last night Pacman denied all of the allegations and said he would sue ESPN....

The June 2007 shooting occurred outside a suburban Atlanta strip club. One of the shooting victims told "Outside the Lines" that he had a dispute with Jones inside the strip club and that not long after he and the two others left the club, a hail of bullets struck their car. The NFL knew about that incident, but charges were never brought against anyone because the victims did not see the shooter.

"Outside the Lines" obtained information that police, investigating a separate Atlanta-area case, had been told by an informant that Jones ordered the June 2007 shooting following his dispute with one of the men. Police have said while the case remains open they are not actively investigating.

Jones denied the report and told the Dallas Morning News: "It will be a lawsuit in a week against ESPN. That's stupid. It's so stupid I have no more comments."
Man, oh man. ESPN better be damn sure they're right on this one. Even if they are, it's a huge gamble because if he's found not guilty for lack of evidence (which seems to be where this is heading), they're the ones with egg on their face. Of course, the Cowboys releasing him is a good sign that the case could be a strong one.

Pacman out as 2007 shooting surfaces (ESPN)

Posted by Awful Announcing at 9:43 AM


I'd like ESPN to be wrong on this. Wouldn't it be nice if they were forced to remember what journalism is?

Patrick said...
Jan 8, 2009, 10:09:00 AM  

Wouldn't Pacman have to prove that ESPN further damaged his reputation? That seems unlikely.

Anonymous said...
Jan 8, 2009, 10:45:00 AM  

Exactly, how can Pacman Jones sue for defamation of character?

GMoney said...
Jan 8, 2009, 10:55:00 AM  

How can one person be investigated but not convicted due to lack of evidence so many times?

Most people never have one run-in with the law in a lifetime. Some people have one minor arrest (DUI, Public Intoxication, etc.). For one person to be arrested or investigated so often in mind-boggling statistically.

Anonymous said...
Jan 8, 2009, 11:13:00 AM  

If Pac-Man were producing, he'd still be a Cowboy. ESPN simply gave Jerry a reason to dump him. No way they didn't know about this beforehand.

Anonymous said...
Jan 8, 2009, 11:27:00 AM  

I'm pretty sure that some defamation is just per se damaging and might even result in punitive damages. Allegations of attempted murder almost certainly rise to that level. In other words, ESPN would not have to *further* damage anyone's reputation to be held liable for some damages.

Of course if Jones had Peyton Manning's endorsements or ran a charity or something like that, the damages would be much higher.

On the other hand, it's very hard for a public figure to sue a media outlet for defamation. Jones is a public figure. He would have to prove what the Supreme Court calls "actual malice," i.e., knowledge that the statement was false or reckless disregard for the truth. Proving that the statement is false is not enough.

I would guess that Adam Jones was not familiar with this standard and was, instead, more familiar with the conventional common law understanding of defamation law when he threatened to sue.

Or, he could be just an idiot running his mouth.

Now, I know enough defamation law to have passed a pair of bar examinations, but my ignorance would be exposed rapidly by someone who took even one class in law school on the subject, so take the comment for what it's worth.

Anonymous said...
Jan 8, 2009, 12:01:00 PM  

I think it will be a difficult case for Pacman, mostly because ESPN is only reporting that the police have been told by an informant that Jones ordered the shooting. ESPN didn't say he did it, they simply described what the police have been told. That's called reporting. As long as the investigation confirms that an informant told this information to the cops, I don't see how ESPN can be sued.

Anonymous said...
Jan 8, 2009, 12:11:00 PM  

At the same time, everyone, wouldn't it be funny if Pacman won the suit and asked for his winnings in ones?

Anonymous said...
Jan 8, 2009, 1:23:00 PM  

Pac-Man and the BCS are both as guilty as sin.

Brad James said...
Jan 8, 2009, 1:43:00 PM  

Hey, PacMan. Enjoy your permament vacation from the NFL compliments of Roger Goddell. And besides your lawsuit has as many legs to stand on as a guy named Bob in a swimming pool.

JamesCraven said...
Jan 8, 2009, 2:22:00 PM  

yea, I think Adam should sue. First of all, since he will be out of the league, he will quickly run through whatever money is left. The sooner this scumbag is either destitute or in jail, the better. Plus, I would happen to think that ESPN/ABC have more money than Adam, and they can play this out and run interference and what not, basically make sure this case never sees the light of day.
Secondly, the standard for libel is pretty high. I mean, how many successful libel cases you see?
Basically, this is a reflexive action by Adam... and seeing that he can't get his boys to go whack the entire network, all he has is saying "I'll sue."
Look, I'll play CB in the League before this case gets heard.

Anonymous said...
Jan 8, 2009, 3:47:00 PM  

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