The NFL has responded to the not-surprising-but-still-a-little-jarring decision from Judge Susan Nelson to lift the lockout.
“We will promptly seek a stay from Judge Nelson pending an expedited appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals,” the league says in a statement. “We believe that federal law bars injunctions in labor disputes. We are confident that the Eighth Circuit will agree. But we also believe that this dispute will inevitably end with a collective bargaining agreement, which would be in the best interests of players, clubs and fans. We can reach a fair agreement only if we continue negotiations toward that goal.”
On that last point, the league is right. The reality, however, is that the players now have a lot more leverage, given that (if the ruling stands) negotiations will occur while the players are playing football and getting paid to do so.
If Judge Nelson denies to stay the lifting of the lockout, the league presumably will make the same request of the appeals court.