Judge Orders NFL’s Billionaire Owners to Lift Lockout on Millionaire Players

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There was another twist in the game between NFL team owners and players on April 25th as a federal judge sided with the players by ordering the league to lift its lockout of them by issuing an injunction. Greg Aiello, the senior vice president of public relations for the league, said the NFL will challenge the ruling with an immediate appeal.

The NFL decided to lock the players out in March after negotiations between the league’s franchise owners and players ground to a halt and the players dissolved their union. The league released a statement after the ruling was announced that said it will appeal because federal legislation doesn’t allow injunctions to be issued in labor disputes. But Susan Richard Nelson, the U.S. District Judge who issued the injunction, said the case doesn’t come under that federal labor law because the players’ union was disbanded.

Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady filed the lawsuit with seven other football players on behalf of eligible and current league players against the NFL to prohibit the lockout. They say it could affect the start of next season which is scheduled to kickoff on Sept. 8th. The players have also requested a future trial which will determine if the lockout violates American antitrust laws.

If the lockout is upheld after appeals, it’ll be the first work stoppage in the NFL since way back in 1987. Football fans are still having a hard time coming to grips with it and understanding how an industry that rakes in about $9 billion a year is arguing over money. As President Obama referred to the argument; it’s billionaire owners arguing with millionaire players over money and the average American can’t relate to it.

In fact, one of the main arguing points is how to split up the $9 billion. At the moment, the franchise owners skim $1 billion off the top and the players get approximately 60 per cent of the rest. But the owners are crying about the rising stadium and league promotion costs and the players want to see the owners present the facts and books to prove this claim. The owners also want to add two more games to the season, bumping it up to 18 from 16. The players are against this though as they say they’re at greater risk of injury.

The players are earning a median salary about $800,000 a year, while star players earn millions. They also claim their careers only last an average of four years. But even if a player was making only the median salary and had to retire after four years, he’d be walking away with pay checks totalling at least $3 million for a grand total of 64 NFL season games.

If the lockout takes place, the billionaires will still be drafting soon-to-be millionaires as the NFL draft will take place from April 28-30 no matter what.