Steelers WR Johnson Sued for No-Showing Own Youth Camp | Athletic Business

Steelers WR Johnson Sued for No-Showing Own Youth Camp

Dave Adamson N Ath0 Crk Mu Unsplash

FlexWork Sports Management LLC, the company that organized a football camp for Diontae Johnson, is suing the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver for not appearing at the camp in late May.

Johnson's no-show subjected the company to “significant damages, in the form of refunds, credits, and reputational damage,” according to a filing last week in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

As reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the camp was supposed to take place on May 22 at Cupples Stadium on the city's South Side, with the $125 admission fee to include a “team photo” with Johnson, in addition to a camp T-shirt and “take home items from event sponsors.” Other levels of interaction with Johnson were offered for additional money.

In the filing, there are details of the conversations leading up to the camp, seemingly with nothing nefarious coming from Johnson’s side.

According to Post-Gazette reporter Jason Mackey, the flashpoint came with an incident FlexWork alleges occurred at 9:47 a.m. on May 22 — just 13 minutes before the start of the camp — when one of Johnson’s agents, Maxx Lepselter, texted a group of camp organizers saying his client’s flight from Sarasota, Fla., was canceled the previous night and he’d arrive later in the day.

The report then describes an exchange between Johnson’s agent and a camp organizer where it was established the wideout did not want to wait around for his second flight and left the airport. They then floated ideas about Johnson doing a free camp and signing gloves to make up for the no-show.

According to a personal service agreement the suit references, Johnson was to pay a cancellation fee of $2,250 if he canceled his appearance after April 5, along with paying FlexWork for all expenses incurred to date.

FlexWork claimed it refunded a total of $36,099.33 in registration fees back to campers and their families. It also claims to have issued that much in credits to those affected, a move it said was designed to mitigate the damage caused by Johnson’s breach of contract.

FlexWork outlined operational expenses and money lost regarding things such as photographer and videographer fees, rental cars, airline flights, hotels, food and beverage and staff payroll, in an amount exceeding $10,000.

“As a result of Johnson’s breach, FlexWork has suffered and continues to suffer damages in an amount to be determined at trial, plus interest, costs, disbursements and attorneys’ fees,” according to complaint, filed Aug. 2. It essentially asks Johnson repay the money FlexWork spent putting on the camp, plus a to-be-determined amount representing damage to their brand, along with legal fees associated with the case, plus interest.

According to Mackey, FlexWork has plenty of favorable online reviews, including camps done with Browns running back Nick Chubb and former Steelers quarterback Josh Dobbs. The Steelers were not affiliated with the canceled Johnson camp.

After “holding in” to Steelers training camp by only doing individual work, Johnson signed a new three-year, $39.5 million contract this past Thursday, the Post-Gazette reported.

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