March 12, 2011

WE KNOW HOW THIS MOVIE ENDS:

Lockout, decertification leave NFL in limbo (Howard Fendrich, 3/12/11, Associated Press)

By dissolving and announcing it no longer represents the players in collective bargaining, the union cleared the way for class-action lawsuits against the NFL, which exercised a CBA opt-out clause in 2008. The antitrust suit — forever to be known as Brady et al vs. National Football League et al — attacked the league’s policies on the draft, salary cap and free-agent restrictions such as franchise-player tags.

Invoking the Sherman Act, a federal antitrust statute from 1890 that limits monopolies and restrictions on commerce, the players are seeking triple the amount of damages they’ve incurred. That means the stakes could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

It could take a month for there to be a ruling on the union’s injunction request, and antitrust judgments should take longer.

Depending on what happens in court — a Minnesota judge has held jurisdiction over NFL labor matters since the early 1990s — next season could be threatened. The last time NFL games were lost to a work stoppage came when the players struck 24 years ago, leading to games with replacement players.


And the replacement games demonstrated that fans couldn't care less about the players. They root for the helmet decals.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 12, 2011 8:05 AM
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