Yesterday's article, NFL Spins the Facts of Lockout as Fans Get Screwed, by Jayson Braddock, was certainly a sobering revelation as to what's really going on with the NFL labor situation. Now that the NFL Players Union has decertified and the Owners have locked out the players, the NFL players led by Tom Brady have filed a lawsuit against the Owners. What does this mean for the 2011 NFL season?
Dr. Roto puts down his stethoscope and puts on his legal cap to try to help make sense of the situation:
The NFL players filed an antitrust lawsuit on Friday. The players need to prove that the 32 NFL teams conspired to violate antitrust laws by fixing prices and salaries and restricting the individual rights of each of its players. Those players who are under contract will also argue that the owners have no right to lock them out and should be obligated to meet all salary and bonus payments required by their contracts in a timely manner.
The lawsuit will come before a judge. In this case, the players are hoping that Judge David Doty will be reviewing the case. Recently, Judge Doty issued a ruling for the players saying that the NFL owners' attempt to receive $4 billion in revenue from TV contracts this season (even if there were no games played) was improper. In his ruling, Judge Doty used words like "did not act in good faith", which put pressure on the owners to try to get a deal done last week.
In the final pages of his ruling, Doty discussed the parameters of an injunction that would stop the league from enjoying the benefits of the lockout clauses in the renegotiated network contracts. He listed the requirements for an injunction:
If the two sides can't agree on a deal (and DeMaurice Smith's asking for 10 years of financial statements does not help), the the best chance to see football played next year would be from the injunction. It will take about a month to get a ruling from the courts.Until then, we are left with a lot of posturing and hot air.
Injuction Junction, What's Your Function? It's simple--your function is to give us back football!
- 1) the threat of irreparable harm to the players
- 2) the balance of harm to the players against any conceivable harm to the owners and the public interest. If this injunction is granted, the 2011 NFL season would be played under last year's rules while the two sides worked on another collective bargaining agreement.
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