Blog Entry

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

Posted on: May 16, 2011 6:25 pm
Edited on: May 17, 2011 4:56 am
Goodell, SmithPosted by Josh Katzowitz

The lockout is on, and it’s going to stay on until at least June 3.

That’s the word from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which issued this evening a permanent stay to District Court Judge Susan Nelson’s decision to end the lockout.

The owners and players will argue their case in front of the appeals court June 3, so this decision isn’t a surprise (it’d be a bit awkward, if the judges didn’t grant the permanent stay, which meant the lockout was lifted, only to overturn Nelson’s decision, meaning the lockout was back on).

Once again, Judge Kermit Bye dissented on the judgment, the same as he did when the appeals court granted the temporary stay April 29.

As the court wrote, it had to consider granting the stay on four factors: 1) has the stay applicant made a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits; 2) whether there will be irreparable harm without a stay; 3) whether other interested parties will be injured by the stay; and 4) where the public interest lies.

Ultimately, the appeals court believed that all those factors balanced together equaled a permanent stay.

Reading through the majority decision with my untrained eye, it doesn’t sound great for the players’ chances going forward.

When you read phrases like, “The district court reasoned that this case does not involve or grow out of a labor dispute because the Players no longer are represented by a union. We have considerable doubt about this interpretation of the Act” and “Our present view is that (the players’) interpretation of the Act is unlikely to prevail”  and (the biggest body blow of all) “we have serious doubts that the district court had jurisdiction to enjoin the League’s lockout,” it can’t leave the NFLPA with a great feeling.

Bye dissented, writing the following in summary:

In sum, because I believe the Norris-LaGuardia Act does not apply in a situation where the Players are no longer represented by the union, I would conclude the NFL did not make the necessary strong showing of likelihood of success on the merits. Moreover, as it relates to the fourth factor, the NFL’s failure to make the necessary showing on the merits detracts from the NFL’s argument that the public interest favors the application of labor laws in the current context. At best, when considering the public interest in having a 2011 NFL season and, by extension, continuing with normal operations necessary for that objective, the public interest factor is a wash. Taken in conjunction with the balance of harms, which clearly favors the Players during the pendency of the expedited appeal, I would deny the NFL’s motion for a stay.

So, for fans and players, today’s ruling was not a good one, even though, like I said above, it wasn’t a surprise. It’s a big victory for the owners – it’s their first really big win in the court system, and now, the leverage is pointed in their direction – and it also means we’ll continue with this stalemate for at least another month.

Which means that you can forget about OTAs and offseason workouts. Training camp still could be held, but right now, that’s in real danger as well.

But perhaps more important than any of that, the players I think are in real trouble going forward. And so are the fans who want more football and less legal analysis.

UPDATED (7:13 p.m. ET): The NFLPA has released a statement in response to the ruling.

"The NFL’s request for a stay of the lockout that was granted today means no football. The players are in mediation and are working to try to save the 2011 season."

UPDATED II (7:48 p.m. ET): The NFL has released its own statement.

"It is now time to devote all of our energy to reaching a comprehensive agreement that will improve the game for the benefit of current and retired players, teams, and, most importantly, the fans. This litigation has taken the parties away from the negotiating table where these issues should be resolved. We remain confident that the appellate court will determine that this is a labor dispute that should be governed by federal law. But the league and players, without further delay, should control their own destiny and decide the future of the NFL together through negotiation."

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Category: NFL

Since: Feb 3, 2011
Posted on: May 17, 2011 1:14 am

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

Dont push blame on people who choose to do something they love to do. you make it seem as if you should not go for your dream.  and Millions you should really know your facts before you chime in.  a players career is an avg of 3 years in that three years you will be lucky to make one million and thats if your lucky.  yes some players do make several million but that is a small percent. also you say they try to get fat you are very simple minded they train their bodies to do our job the best that they can to make their career last as long as possible.  players put there bodies at risk every day it is extremely hard on them and their families.  you say try being normal and you job is so hard.  you dont truly know how many hours they put in. i promise it is much more than you could imagine. and they players are not bitching they are simple fighting for protection and a fair agreement they are not asking for more money.  and your steroids comment is just plan stupid. try going to work everyday and not knowing if you will get hurt or even leave with your job at the end of the day.  yes they choose their job and fight for it with every breath because it is their dream. please keep you mouth shut and just sit behind your computer where it is safe. and good luck with those bills

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: May 17, 2011 1:06 am

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

This is the exact reason the owners dont have to show them a thing. Now that theres no nflpa, the players disolved it, not the owners.

So, you start your own company, your employees dont have a union. Your business grows and becomes successful, now your employees want you to open your books so they can take a percentage of your business?? Good luck with that one. Where do i apply? REALLY.

Having to defend the owners is terrible enough, but they employ THOUSANDS of people, hot dog vendors, parking lot attendants, paving, cleaning, security, fencing, seating, ticket sales, advertising, a front office staff with executive assistants. This is just the football end, they also have real business they run away from football. The player works out 7 months of the year, WHEN HE WANTS, his choice. Shows up for camp in shape or out of shape. Plays the season, and only HALF of the league plays in the extra period. The lowest paid players still make 10x what the average american makes today. The owners were rich BEFORE the became owners !!!

Since: Mar 12, 2009
Posted on: May 17, 2011 12:44 am

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

Players and owners already have both been getting a really good deal and would be simpliest for both side to realize just that.

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: May 17, 2011 12:10 am

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

anyone see the real sports report about how all these ex- plyers aren't able to cope with life after football?how ex jet qb.. lucas was about to commit suicide because he couldnt deal with the pain anymore?many of these o-lineman are crippled from years of playing the game.theyre made to gain so much weight they cant make it to there 50's in many goodall wants to add 2 more games?he has zero regard for these guys.this strike should be about the guys who play 2-4 years at average salaries and get hurt
Oh no!?

A bunch of players that CHOOSE to become NFL players that make MILLIONS of dollars over the career can't do as much as play two extra games during the season?   A joke.

I understand players in the NFL take a beating, but seriously... if linemen weren't pushed so hard to get fat and if players weren't pushed so hard to get huge, then people wouldn't take as much of a beating and end up getting hurt so much.  I bet you half of these players are on some sort of undetectable sterioid anyways.

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: May 17, 2011 12:04 am

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

Not really sure why the players have the right to bitch about their multi-million dollar salaries and super protection of their jobs by the players association. They should try being a typical american that works longer, harder hours than these guys, and is still struggling to pay rent or fix a car that's broken that gets them to their job on a daily basis. 

Since: May 16, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 11:39 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

I don't hate the owners I hate the NFL. Unless I subscribe to DirectTV I only get to watch the game that the local tv station shows not the game I want to see. The NBA and MLB and NHL let the fans select which games to watch by subscribing on cable. How long is the NFL going to sell out the fans to DirectTV? I hope the league folds up and goes away. I think the fans should sue the NFL!

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: May 16, 2011 11:34 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

How does this ruling hurt the NFLPA, they decertified the union so they could get this into the court system instead of trying to negotiate an agreement with ownership. Thats what hurt the NFLPA they voted themselves out of exsistance. It doesn't look like such a great plan now. If these guys loose one game day pay check most of them will not recoup that ammount of money over the life of there NFL careers no matter what deals they make. Stay at the table get a deal done and quit screwing around with the legal bs.

Since: Mar 26, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 11:13 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

wanna: Thanks. I'm just thinking about the alternatives out there, you've helped synchronize them. The real factor is time, and that works against the players. Like you've intimated, any delay is going to hurt them more.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: May 16, 2011 10:56 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

i have heard of nothing or read anything in the current CBA where the owners HAVE to show the players anything.  would be very greatful if you or anyone could show me that in the CBA. 

as i stated previously the players NEVER show any reason why they should opt out of a contract....other than they want to be traded (carson palmer) or they had maybe ONE good year.

Since: Apr 5, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 10:51 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

The owners had a right to opt out yes. But they have to show players why they should give anything back.
1. Game is growing
2. No owner is losing money
3. All teams value keeps on climbing.
Given these facts the owners have shown NO reason for players to give back anything. That is a fact.

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