New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma has a bone to pick with the Miami Marlins over some barbecue.
Vilma is a co-owner of the Brother Jimmy’s BBQ franchise in Miami, and he’s filed a lawsuit against the Marlins over the restaurant’s failed concession stand in Marlins Park, according the NBC Miami. The NFL star alleges that the team failed to live up to its promises and mismanaged the concession stand.
The Marlins have filed a suit against Vilma, claiming that Brother Jimmy’s breached a sponsorship agreement with the team and failed to pay $75,000 in sponsorship fees for the 2012 season. The suit also says that Brother Jimmy’s didn’t give the Marlins the required 60 days’ notice that they were terminating the agreement for 2013.
Brother Jimmy’s says they never reached a formal agreement with the Marlins, and that the restaurant paid $25,000 to the team in good faith. Vilma says the quality of the service and food at the concession stand bearing the Brother Jimmy’s name was so bad that it had to be shut down.
“We did voice our concerns and we actually personally went there, we went to the games and we wouldn’t let them know who we were, we’d go and taste our own food and we’d tell them, ‘Look, this food is not to our standards,’” Vilma said during an appearance Wednesday on the Kup & Crowder Show on 560 WQAM. “It hurts us as a business, because if for the first time a fan goes to Marlins [Park], they taste Brother Jimmy’s, they say ‘this food is terrible,’ and all they’re gonna remember is the bad food and/or service that they got at the Marlins’ stadium, and we expected better than that.”
Vilma also took issue with the fact that the Marlins made certain promises regarding attendance numbers, and those numbers were not met.
“They unfortunately sold us a dream, the attendance wasn’t what they were marketing to us, it was probably a fraction of that,” Vilma said.
Vilma owns the Miami franchise along with former University of Miami teammates D.J. Williams and Jon Beason. Brother Jimmy’s is seeking to get back the $25,000 they paid to the Marlins plus damages.