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
Comments

Since: Jan 7, 2009
Posted on: May 16, 2011 7:41 pm
 

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

Wow! A conservative court sided with big business. I'm stunned. This will not end, either way, until the Supreme Court gets involved.



Since: May 23, 2008
Posted on: May 16, 2011 7:38 pm
 

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

tgunns, this is the players fault. This is all a waste of time. In the end they will have to negotiate a new deal. All this court crap is doing is WASTING time. The Owners didn't bring this to court.

And lets not forget, the players agreed to the cut short date as well during the last CBA negotiating. EVERYONE, players included knew tat extremely player friendly CBA was going to be cut short. The owners were talking about it while the ink was still wet on the old CBA. The owners caved last time to keep football going. The players refused to do the same this time. I put this squarely on the players.

Back to the stay, I'm torn. I'm firmly on the side of ownership. But I want there to be football. If the lockout gets upheld I would make the players come crawling back when half of them are broke in October. But that means no football....which I don't want.



Since: Jan 19, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 7:38 pm
 

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

The latest I have heard as of today is that the owners are preparing a new offer to the players. Although the lockout is still in affect it looks like some progress is being made. Don't let this new court ruling fool you.



Since: May 23, 2008
Posted on: May 16, 2011 7:38 pm
 

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

tgunns, this is the players fault. This is all a waste of time. In the end they will have to negotiate a new deal. All this court crap is doing is WASTING time. The Owners didn't bring this to court.

And lets not forget, the players agreed to the cut short date as well during the last CBA negotiating. EVERYONE, players included knew tat extremely player friendly CBA was going to be cut short. The owners were talking about it while the ink was still wet on the old CBA. The owners caved last time to keep football going. The players refused to do the same this time. I put this squarely on the players.

Back to the stay, I'm torn. I'm firmly on the side of ownership. But I want there to be football. If the lockout gets upheld I would make the players come crawling back when half of them are broke in October. But that means no football....which I don't want.



Since: Sep 18, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2011 7:29 pm
 

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

There are owners out there to be loved and respected. Although none come to mind other than Paul Allen, I believe there are others. They want to see football and want to see a good product and have taken ownership for the love of the game. And then there are others, like the corporate behemoths and the big fish in the little ponds. What's it going to get the fans who pay the ultimate price in costs? Probably another bad year. Most of us know how the tree of economics works. The end user, almost always the consumer foots the bill. So as the media dramatizes the lock-out- labor issues, at the end of the day, these people are looking for the end user public fans to pick sides. Well forget it. The 8th district court of appeals did that for us. So for the rest of us we can sit back, enjoy the rest of our summer knowing that the courts have decided how it should go down and we, the ultimate providers of revenue to football don't have to worry about fantasy, who's the better RB, who should take Vincent Jackson and so on. It no longer matters just like it didn't back in the 80"s
 



Since: Aug 19, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2011 7:29 pm
 

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

there isn't going to be a 2011 season this is really.really ugly.



Since: May 6, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2011 7:27 pm
 

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

Yeah Tgunns141 that might sound just fine to you now but when the ticket prices skyrocketed and fans stopped attending enabling blackouts of said tv you would sure be singing a different tune.



Since: Mar 26, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 7:23 pm
 

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

Let the players and owners brass knuckle it out. Billionaires against millionaires- both of whom have lost touch with the average Joe who supports the game. Time for the union to conveniently re-certify and get back to the bargaining table while filing an anti-trust motion against the league.



Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: May 16, 2011 7:04 pm
 

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

Bad things, man.  Bad things.



Since: Nov 16, 2009
Posted on: May 16, 2011 7:04 pm
 

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

The continued stay is a joke. Don’t forget there were originally two more years on the old agreement; which the owners cut short knowing they were going to redo the TV deal (4 billion).

Preliminary talks for that deal had to start while the old deal was still in place. So that the 4 billion war chest they received should have 59% going to the players per the old deal. I hope in order to teach the owners a lesson the judge Doty awards the 707 mill plus further damages against the owners. I hope the players get the whole 4 billion.  



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