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: Mar 29, 2010
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:28 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

I am really tired of really rich players arguing with really really rich owners.  Both have good points and one would think they could work it out.  In the meantime, all we want is competitve football that we can bet on on drink beer to.  Just put a bunch of good college games in front of us to enjoy, and leave the bickering "professionals" on the sideline for awhile.  They don't give a crap about us fans anywho!

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:25 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

I don't know what I'm reading.  Seems to me the NFL prevailed because the court ruled this is not a labor matter since the players are not represented by a union.   Yet the NFL releases a statement saying they're hopeful to ultimately prevail because this is a labor dispute.  Are these the same justices that will decide the anti-trust case when (should) it come to court?       

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:25 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

We can transition from baseball to basketball.  We can forget about the NFL.  We will watch some college football on Saturday and spend time with our families on Sunday.  We need to boycott the NFL if they start late.  We are in control.

Since: May 15, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:23 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

ricpowell, have YOU visited Canton?

Since: May 15, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:18 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA're obviously not a true fan of the NFL. Have you visited Canton, OH??

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:13 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

I'm probably in the minority here - but I think this is good news.
I'm all for a break from professional football. I think we've all just gone a little too far down the path. There are some of us that care more about our team than we do about ourselves - and we need to experience some life witbhout that distraction. It's just a game people - let's find something better to do with our time and money.

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:12 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

Did anyone really see any other outcome from this? The more influential, the deeper the pockets, the higher winning legal percentage. This is how politics, corporate, and business law works. Consistent rulings like this make it nearly impossible for things to change in the future. This why corporations have personal rights and can express freedom of speech through political funding. At least this just effects football. I feel nothing for the players, coaches, or owners. I do feel for the ancillary personal that maintain the field, vend hotdogs, beer, man the phones. Time to look elsewhere for work folks. Oh, thats right. The same type of greed and schemes have destroyed any hope of work elsewhere. All the money and resources have been funnelled to a few, and will continue to do so incrementally, with rulings like this, in every facet of employment throughout this country. 

Since: Jul 17, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:10 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

Are you a freaking idiot!  I get so tired of comments like these.  The owners take all the risk and they pay EMPLOYEES.  No more no less.  If YOU SPENT 150 MILLION PER YEAR WOULD YOU NOT EXCPECT A RETURN ON YOUR INVESTMENT?  The tail is wagging the dog here.  

Since: May 15, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:08 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

Sad day for NFL fans...

What will it take for owners and to a lesser extent NFLPA to realize that they have the PERFECT product. Why mess with perfection?
We've all heard and read the same thing and it's true- The owners are going for more money when a majority of them are billionaires. Read that last word again...Billionaires. Meanwhile, their 'employees' are looking for fair value. That's all - fairness.

NFL players have a limited shelf life. I've read where they describe Sundays as an ongoing car crash.
They give up their bodies and in some cases their brains to play the game they love. Sure some make more money than I'll ever see in my lifetime, but they provide more than money can buy - entertainment. Personally, I LIVE for Sunday in the fall. Food, beer and football.

The owners have the power and ability to solve this dispute. Enough lawyers. NFL OWNERS - DO THE RIGHT THING FOR YOUR FANS.

ok, I'm done...

Since: Sep 25, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:06 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

I somewhat disagree with this article saying nothing can happen until June 3rd. Not so, if anything both parties can continue to negoiate, all legal actions can be dropped if they come to an agreement. If anything I  think this agreement leads to a speedier resolution. Maybe within the next week to 10 days, or maybe I just have wishful thinking. I for one think this finally will get handled.

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