Players seek “preliminary injunction” to stop lockout while lawsuit proceeds


Lost in the flurry of activity that unfolded on Friday afternoon and evening is the fact that the NFLPA* already has taken steps to end the lockout that was launched at midnight.

We’ve obtained a copy of the “motion for preliminary injunction” filed on behalf of Tom Brady and the other named plaintiffs.  The motion asks that the lockout be prevented while the litigation proceeds.

Though no hearing date has been set, motions of this nature tend to move fairly quickly.  A hearing could be set for the coming week, and a decision could be issued in time for free agency to begin by Friday.

The league will presumably argue in response that the decertification was not effective, which if successful would cut off the players’ ability to block the lockout.

And so begins the first skirmish of Litigeddon.  Its outcome will either force the doors open (which is good for the fans) or keep the doors shut (which is good for the fans only if the two sides can work out a new labor deal).

Stay tuned for more details.  Whether you want them or not.

49 responses to “Players seek “preliminary injunction” to stop lockout while lawsuit proceeds

  1. Who cares what judges say in America in 2011? Obamacare was found unconstitutional (duh) and drilling in the Gulf was ordered to be resumed by a judge and the Administration ignores the Court. If the CEO of the US has a blatant disregard for the courts, why should the NFL owners care what the ruling is?

  2. I would like to say that D smith is terrible. Why would he not make any concessions, and why in the world would he need to see back 10 years in the owners books, as a fan it looks to me like he wants this lock out and no season. I would like to think that Gene Upshaw would have gotten this deal done on time, because he has in the past and he didnt need to keep pushing and asking for more and more. D Smith I really hope that the players get rid of you, you are terrible!

  3. Keep the doors shut. I’ve been a fan of the NFL for 45 years, but I’m sick of the whiny millionaire players. I’m not a pro-management person, but the players have gone off the deep-end on this thing.

    The union, like most unions, is a joke and these players, who “can’t afford to feed their families” need to try to find a job in the real world.

    Average salary of $1 million. Average career length of 4 years. $4 million by the age of 26 – and I haven’t made 1$ million in 35+ years of work. No sympathy here, and I’ll play Madden football for my fix until these morons come to their senses.

  4. The players that don’t make the super star salaries need to start forming a new players union.

    One that cares for the players and not just it’s own “budgetarial” survival.

  5. If there is no free agency. I will not wach the draft I say we as fans Boycott the nfl. The network and the draft don’t go to their websight as well. Let’s hurt them in their bottomless wallet. This is our only way to show how we feel.

  6. Ooooooh, Tom Bradey, Peyton Manning, and other big name players trying to use their popularity so the players can get more money they don’t deserve. Lock them all out.

    Why is it that “motions of this nature tend to move fairly quickly” while we cannot get a ruling on the Starcaps case until the offseason?

    I hope that the owners and the DeMo Smith both stand firm and the lockout lasts the entire season. Let the players get a taste of the real world for a change.

    “Yes, I do realize your Cam Newton… No, I don’t want your autograph… Yes, you may super size my order. Throw in a cherry pie too”

  7. I don’t want a judge to decide all of this. If the two parties can’t resolve it through good faith negotiation then the hell with them. I seriously hope the judge allows the lockout to proceed and that both parties find some clarity.

  8. davefox11: d smith did make concessions 59% down to 50% that’s not enough for the maggot owners! they want 1 billion up front and more!
    F__K them

  9. The NFLPA is a sham union no matter what language the scumbag NFLPA lawyers put in the last contract.

    Owners: PLEASE fire and permanently ban the players who are suing you. Doing otherwise would be to cave in to your weakness of bidding against one another for the services of self-serving morons. Implement a reasonable salary scale, allowing you to carry more players on the roster and safely expand the season. Enforce morals and behavioral clauses in future contracts. Take care of player safety and care needed for their injuries as you have already offered to do.

    Welcome the the UFL Brady, Brees, Manning, et al. You think you are screwing the owners, but all you’ve done is alienate the fans who are really the ones paying your salary! The NFL fans easily see through your ruse.

  10. bringbacktheflex:

    Maybe you would have made more than 1$ million dollars in 35 years of work if you weren’t so idiotically anti-union. Middle-class people who hate unions are morons.

  11. The fans lose – no matter the outcome. The fans have already lost. I don’t understand nor agree with the notion that either side has held the interest of the fans. However, WE the FANS need to understand that we are a secondary concern and no amount of disappointment/frustration on our part will make an iota of difference to the players or owners.

    I would like to hear Mike’s or other commentors’ opinions on the following:

    1. The last CBA was in fact bad: Despite the view that players ARE the NFL, they are not. The concept of revenue sharing entitled the players to a certain transparency from the owners about the nature of their expenditures. The owners should have never accepted a revenue sharing model in any CBA without understanding this risk.

    Any employee from McD’s to corporate America should be able to understand that an imposed wage scale based upon gross revenue provides limited motivation to ensure corporate success – growing gross revenue does not infer increased profit. At best, the majority of the American workforce may see some pittance of a bonus based on the net profitability of their company, never the gross revenue. As gross revenue increases, the costs of goods and services may increase and the profit margin may in fact fall (this is the claim of the owners). At the FAR end of this spectrum, ask yourself if you would be willing to hurt the financial solvency of your employer in order to make more money now? Most would say no – you intend to hold your job long-term and require long-term job security.

    NFL players can ignore that because their careers are very short and job security is tenuous at best. If the owners were willing to accept a gross revenue model, they forfeit significant bargaining power when claiming reduced profitability – since the compensation was not based upon this metric. They should have avoided tying employee compensation to ANY financial metric unless they were willing to share complete financial data when the situation of financial insolvency arose (as they claim it has). Or, restrict the influence of gross revenue/profitability to bonuses and one-time payments similar to the rest of the workforce.

    Part 2 in next submission…

  12. wake up people, the game is rigged. Its like watching wrestling now….revenue sharing has rigged all the games so that each team has a shot each year… me a new stadium and I’ll show you a team that makes the playoffs or superbowl real quick….sucka’s

  13. How can a trade associateion file a preliminary injuction for players? They are no longer a union, according to them, so they do not represent those players.

  14. bobbyhoying:
    your ignorance of facts is mind boggling (duh?) obamacare as you call it (should we call Iraq – bushwar II?) Two federal courts have upheld Obamacare, and two have declared part of it unconstitutional.
    Of course if you find lying and misrepresenting to be patriotic and the only way you can make a point – well you are pathetic.

  15. Part 2 (see previous post for part 1)

    2. The last CBA is gone. The union sits in the shadows. The owners have no protection against litigious actions, and the NFL’s business model is now in question. The anti-trust case will seek to portray a league that has developed competitive balance, player appropriation and compensation models as criminals. This case could force the team owners to act independently instead of as a unified league – teams choosing to enforce the same model could be accused of collusion. Who does this help? The independent contractors (players) that wish to make themselves free market supply in a high demand market. Who does this hurt? The fans.

    The NFL could become powerless (in a worst case scenario), unable to enforce a uniform set of standards. Who would want to see those games? Who would want the teams to enforce their own standards, have reduced symmetry/competitive balance, and have an unmanaged, unenforced “league”. There is no gain to be had in court. The players’ short term gain would be quickly overcome by the losses everyone else suffered and the further reduced solvency of the league as a whole. (You could summarize this section as, “I don’t want football to be like baseball.” or “I don’t want the Bills, Browns,Broncos to have the freedom to be the Pittsburgh Pirates”)

    A lot of the anti-trust motivation stems from the merchandise case that was recently heard at the Supreme Court. However, I think that decision leaves hope that a judge could decide competitive balance is an important aspect of the sport’s model and should allow some exemption to anti-trust. If that happens, the NFL would “win” the ability to set and maintain some standards, but they may not win all the rights they hold now. Is that a bad thing? good thing? I don’t know, there are some cases where reduced NFL influence may help the market, and many others where it would hurt. Having the courts decide is a bad thing because it takes the decision out of the hands of the people who care most about the sport and puts it in the hands of those really nerdy kids you knew in school (yeah, the ones like me).

    There are more parts to this, but I think I should stop and make sure I’m not getting beat up too bad before I continue…

  16. I think the NFL needs to look into reorganizing their business to bust the union and operate with no union. Can the NFL allow each team to function as a Franchise? Would that avoid antitrust issues? It works in the fast food industry, where these players will be working if they don’t come to an agreement. Technically, they wouldn’t be busting the union because there is no union, so they can actually thank the union for decertifying.

    No union, great, this is how much we will pay you if you want a job.

  17. @bringbacktheflex

    Damn son, you haven’t made over a mil in over 35 years of working? You only need to take home an average of 35K a year to do that.

    Might I suggest a GED program?

  18. dcowboy77 says: Mar 12, 2011 12:03 PM

    Goodells salary is now $1….thats what he said would happen.


    Yes, and I’m sure he’s applying for utility assistance and welfare as we speak. /sarcasm

  19. “dcowboy77 says:
    Mar 12, 2011 12:03 PM
    Goodells salary is now $1….thats what he said would happen”

    Does he really deserve that much???!!! That guy is a piece of Scheet (both derived words apply)!

  20. @bigbigodnarb

    “Maybe you would have made more than 1$ million dollars in 35 years of work if you weren’t so idiotically anti-union. Middle-class people who hate unions are morons.”

    Middle class people who think unions are still the key to their salvation in 2011 are stuck in post-WWII America and have no concept of how far an irreversible amount of globalization has gone to change the employment landscape.

    The last bastions of unions are government and pro sports. Government workers are replaceable and thus their days are coming to an end. Professional athletes should realize how lucky they are.

  21. @saberstud75 –

    “Yes, I do realize your Cam Newton… No, I don’t want your autograph… Yes, you may super size my order. Throw in a cherry pie too”


    I love it.

  22. txchief…

    I am thrilled you don’t run the league.

    So, you expect to play with scabs and make just as much money on the TV deal?

    Think ratings will stay the same?

    Think CBS and NBC and ESPN will pay the same amount in broadcast rights?

    Think blue chip advertisers will still pay as much for sponsorships?

    Think fans will still go to games, pay $20 for parking and $10 for a beer?

    Really? Do you?

  23. bigbigodnarb says: Mar 12, 2011 12:33 PM


    Maybe you would have made more than 1$ million dollars in 35 years of work if you weren’t so idiotically anti-union. Middle-class people who hate unions are morons.

    Spoken like a true moron. The unions brought down the biggest industry in the US, automotive, and you think they are “good”? LOL

    This union will bring down the NFL or, if the owners are smart about it, bring itself down and have a decent league with better quality players and less “bling” and showboating.

  24. The players being able to prevent the lockout is bad for the fans in the long run. It will again force a deal down the owners throat they don’t like and is a “very good deal for the players”, just like the last time and will incourage players to use the same tactics in the future. So of few years from now we will be watching a rerun of this year. Let the lockout happen and strike a deal that favors neither side, but is acceptable to both.

  25. bigbigodnarb –

    Down through the years there have been unions that have done good and bad with just maybe too many of them having gone too far. Where does it all stop?

    How many cities, municipalities, counties, school districts and states are now “broke” because government workers unions went too far? Maybe all of them?

    Also, in Pennsylvania, there are coal miners who ended-up without pensions because their union stole it all. Oh right, they did end-up with pneumoconiosis – that’s black lung disease. Is this one of the unions that you refer to?

    Try to take everything case-by-case.

  26. I was wondering why the union didn’t take this step last night. Now it goes in front of – guess who? – Judge Doty.

    He’s going to rule in favor of the players and put a stop on the lockout, and both sides are going to end up -guess where? – back at the negotiating table.

    Doty’s going to keep sending them there because wants them to come to a CBA agreement, but only if it favors the players.

  27. By decertifying, the players are attempting to tilt the scales in the delicate balance between the owners and the players. When the owners opted for the lockout, they attempted to move the scales back to an equilibrium. Collective bargaining ensures that the scales are equal.

    Based on the fact that the union asked players to vote for decertification before the serious negotiations ever begun, the decertification IS a scam intended to allow the players to have their cake and eat it too, while trying to get a much better deal from the courts than they could through collective bargaining. Unfortunately, this tactic could ruin the game, as players have asked for more and more of the pie, more liberal free agency, and essentially don’t care if Jerry Jones has to spend $2 billion or $2 for a new stadium, as long as they get a percentage of the revenues.

    Lost in all of this is, “what is best for the fan?” Under the current system, fans are able to develop bonds with players their teams draft, as if the team really, really wants to retain their rights for the right price, they can do so. However, in return for these rights, they must pay their players more, if they franchise these players, which means that players, in return for limited free agency, receive higher salaries.

    It would be foolish for Judge Doty to rule that the NFL is breaking antitrust laws, as without some semblance of regulations ensuring a competitive balance, the NFL becomes irrelevant. Without the ability to apply rules and regulations such as the draft, a salary cap, shared revenue and limited free agency, the NFL becomes a league with seven or eight teams showing a profit with high-paid start, with the smaller market teams unable to compete unless they lose money, or if they operate in the black they won’t be competitive because they can’t afford to pay the top players the top dollars.

    The NFL is a league, and these rules and regulations make the league stronger, more competitive and profitable for both players and the owners.

    My hope is that Judge Doty allows the NFL to lock out players, which will force the players back to the bargaining table. Otherwise, the fans and the game will suffer.

    I find it disturbing that players like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are part of this antitrust lawsuit. These millionaires essentially are putting their names and reputations on the line, claiming that they have been damaged by the NFL’s rules and regulations that prevent unlimited free agency and college players from joining any team they want. These rules have made these two prima donnas millionaires, and they have benefitted greatly from the competitive balance created by these rules.

    I have no sympathy for these players.

  28. rich – what proof do you have of that?

    Also, the major part of the fight will be to shift the trial to someplace else…someone mentioned St. Louis.

  29. @rpiotr01

    No one argued that unions are the key to middle-class “salvation.” Stop attacking straw men. But middle-class folk who attack unions are idiots who have accepted the worldview that allows them to be completely at the mercy of powerful interests who have no desire to treat them neither humanely nor fairly.

  30. The players have no right to view the IRS Filings for thier bosses. That one condition is the reason for all of this. First, whether the owners are profitable or not is none of the player’s business. Second, I can assure you the NFL has the best Book “Cookers” money can buy so what the IRS filing say is irrelavant, unless the players intention is to attain that information for blackmail leverage (probable).

    On the other hand, the owners wanting to increase thir portion of the up-front monies & extend the schedule is equally as wrong.

    So, both sides remind me of spoiled rotten kids on a school play ground manipulating everyone & everything involved to get thier way. Frankly, they shoud all be ashamed of themselves. Childish….

  31. How many cities, municipalities, counties, school districts and states are now “broke” because government workers unions went too far? Maybe all of them?

    The NFL isn’t broke. Not even close. Making more money every year.

  32. “I think the NFL needs to look into reorganizing their business to bust the union and operate with no union. Can the NFL allow each team to function as a Franchise? Would that avoid antitrust issues?”

    No CBA – no anti-trust exemption. That’s what makes it so complex.

    Like it or not, these two need one another to keep making record profits. Why they can’t do so is beyond me.

  33. @locutus

    Only an idiot who watches Fox News and listens to Rush Limbaugh thinks that unions are the reason why the auto industry is a shell of its former self. The CEOs and other officers of those companies were paying themselves 10s of millions of dollars, made bad business decisions and you want to blame the guy who made 60k a year. It’s pathetic how rich people in this country have gotten you to support the very same policies that keep money in their pockets and not in yours.

  34. @bluepike

    In the 1960s, the average CEO of a company made 24 times the salary of the average worker. Now the average CEO makes over 260 times that of the average worker. Now who’s taking your money? Unions or CEOs?

    Yes, you can find faults with a few unions. But, as an idea, no middle-class person should be anti-union.

  35. you guys are pathetic for not putting up my last comment. it wasnt offensive in any way. it didnt use foul language. what is your rationale for not posting?

  36. The CEO is an employee too, bigbigodnarb! He might become a shareholder/partner depending upon his compensation package. The exception might be in an entirely family-run business. Anyway, I don’t know of any corporations that pay new employees (NFL rookies) like CEOs right out of college.

  37. jc1958cool–Do you know how to read? It was the owners that made concessions. As Giants’ owner John Mara said, in 2 years, the players have not changed their stance one iota. It was the owners, in order to get a deal, backed off their additional 1B demand, down to 325M–that means the players would lose 193M a year–59.6 X 325; it was the owners who offered medical care FOR LIFE; it was the owners who said they would shorten offseason activities; its the owners who said they would establish a fund for better benefits for retired players–I didn’t see the players propose any kind of fund for them. Reading today’s news, though, the NFL might be able to expose the decertification for the sham it is since the players were supposed to wait until the CBA epired and they didn’t.

  38. Between 1998 and 2008 the value of NFL franchises has risen over 300%. So they’re not hurting. The players weren’t the ones who opted out of the deal, the owners were. So how can you write that the “owners offered the players everything they wanted? When is the last time a player offered to move “your” team if you didn’t pony up tax money to build him a new stadium so that he could compete. It’s your choice if you want to attend a game. But everybody pays into the general tax fun.

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