League will seek a stay of the ruling, and will appeal it

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.

32 responses to “League will seek a stay of the ruling, and will appeal it

  1. And that’s the point right there. The owners don’t want the players playing football during negotiations because then the players would still be getting paid and they can’t force a pro-ownership deal.

    That’s what the lockout is all about. Force the players into a bad deal. Now the owners will be forced to play fair.

  2. Knew this was coming and have been calling it for weeks. Now that the players lil mother hen has ruled the league can get this issue in front of some real judges that matter

  3. Raj better have his head on a swivel for Thursday night if the league is looking to block the decision by Judge Nelson. Looking forward to the rain of boos showering over him then.

  4. I am not understanding this. The judge said that she accepts the decertification and said the league can’t “lock out” anything. How then can they operate under the old CBA since there is no union – and in fact the whole basis of this ruling is BECAUSE she accepted the decertification and there is no union?

  5. If the league talks with individual teams about not making any moves before the stay is ruled upon, would that be collusion? Anyone?

    Will we see a flurry of personnel moves before Thursdays draft?

  6. Multiple sources say that Nelson has already denied the stay, so I guess the NFL will have to get it from the appelate court.

  7. Ladies and gentlemen…..welcome to LEGAL GRIDLOCK!

    It’s going to be a long hot summer…………………..

  8. Appeal? Damn league/owners. Just accept the ruling and keep negotiating. I don’t want my football back in August, I want it now!

  9. u know what’s funny all this money and time there wasting would have given both sides more. not to mention free agency could’ve happened and teams could’ve been more prepared for the draft. I guess this is there way of boosting the economy. just get a new cba or take on another year of the old one for more time. either way GET IT DONE!

  10. Assuming the Judge’s ruling stands, under what rules will the league operate? If the league operates under last year’s rules it will constantly be in violation of the anti-trust rules. Unless there is an agreement, this will get quite interesting.

  11. if the league really feels that way why do they need a lockout to continue negotiations? I was a commercial fisherman for years one bad season 3 of the 5 capt. wanted to look at the books because of how much less we made. the owner might have got his feeling hurt a little but he let them. next season we ate a lot less steak and more burgers and were issued slicks instead of grabbing them when ever we wanted and no one bitched.
    we understood the owner was fair enough to let us buy our own food but that it was also coming right out of our share at the end of the year. we understood the way it worked and how much it cost and became aware of our business and appreciated the boat owner more. if the owners showed the players why they need more to keep the league growing they would feel the same way too.

  12. Would anyone be surprised that in the next owners meeting, all this is discused and some player will be walking if they want to feel they run the teams.

  13. I hope that the players use their newfound leverage to force an even better deal than the 2006 CBA. Suck it owners!

  14. If they don’t grant the ‘stay’ can the players recertify and agree to the old CBA rules?

    I wonder how much the owners paid in legal fees? Especially if this turns into a the loudest backfire in sports history.

    Epic fail coming?

  15. This is the worst possible result for fans who want to see football this season.

    Here’s what happens next. The owners will get a stay from the 8th Circuit. The players will stop any negotiations knowing their best chance at victory is a court ruling. The 8th Circuit will send it back for a full trial. We will then have to wait another 6-12 months for the trial and subsequent appeals.

    See you in 2012 when the next NFL game is played.

  16. Certainly for things like tags and tenders and salary cap, the league is very susceptible to anti-trust claims.

    But on issues like HGH testing and an 18 game season, the league is equally free to implement whatever they want. The players are free to not sign a contract if they don’t like the workplace rules, but if the league adopted the World Anti-doping Standards testing like they do for the Olympics, how could the players say they are opposed… because they want to keep cheating….

    The draft would be the one thing the league would have to preserve for competitive balance and if they lose that, well get ready for the Redskins and Cowboys to attempt to assemble super teams.

    There will certainly be less chaos if the two sides sign a new CBA as a result of the lawsuit.

    What if every team had different benefits and medical plans and they stopped offering pensions and the like…. all those things the players bargained for in a CBA in exchange for a cap and tags and tenders would now not be guaranteed without a CBA. Each separate business could roll their own bennies. A player gets traded from a team with great benefits to one with crappy benefits and will piss and moan that it’s a pay cut.

  17. Hopefully the ruling stands so the players/teams can get back to work while a new agreement is agreed upon. Win-win for the players/fans.


  18. A stay is just prolonging a dismantling of an otherwise flawed, yet functional system. I think the players should be fairly compensated, but if the league operates the way the players sound like they want it too then the NFL will fail and crumble. I’m all for getting what you think you’re owed, but great work ruining the system that pays you. Next stop: NFL bailing teams out like the MLB + Dodgers. This appears to be no different than the housing market; borrowers taking a bad deal, accepting the predatorial offer, asking for more and now said borrowers are sunk because the employers that paid the borrowers are dumping them to save their own money. Sad and greedy. It’s not like the owners have a money farm going. The players are the owner’s representation of their product and it looks like the product has gone sour. You won’t see me at another game, but I’ll watch you for free in my home from my couch.

  19. @themohel

    I think the league will function under the 2010 CBA rules. This is what I have heard numerous times. Essentially if all goes well the stay is not granted and business goes on like usual under the 2010 CBA until a new CBA is agreed upon. I think this happened back in the 90’s and it went on for a season or two.

  20. Welcome to the legal quagmire that I wrote about the other day, and that I’ve been unable to have answered for the last 60 days or so. An injunction can stop a party from harming another party, but it cannot order a party to affirmatively to something. So Judge Nelson made a decision on the underlying legal issue, and did only what she had the authority to do— order the owners to stop locking out the players. In doing so, she failed to provide any clarity or guidance over quagmire that now exists, but she noticeably and wisely failed to over step her authority, which will make the order less suseptible to attack.

    So on to the appeal process. The Owners have 2 bites at the apple to obtain a stay of the ruling pending appeal, and thus preserve their leverage as well as avoiding possible chaos. Based on the absence of a stay in the order and the inclusion of some of the language in the Order, I would not expect Judge Nelson to stay the decision pending appeal. She’ll punt this one to the 8th circuit. Given the chaos that could ensue if the stay is not entered pending appeal, I’d guess that the 8th circuit would strongly consider imposing a stay pending the appeal.

    If the order is stayed, they only way this bizarro world NFL (where the owners would have to issue rules while defending a pending antitrust lawsuit) would unfold would be if the 8th circuit upholds Judge Nelson’s ruling.

    Lastly, it’s important to remember that the appeal does not end the underlying lawsuit and mediation, nor does it end the lockout insurance case. I believe firmly that Jude Boylan postponed the mediation to May 19 for two reasons. First, so that Judge Nelson could issue a ruling on the lockout injunction today, and second so that the NLRB can conduct its hearing on the appropriate remedy to award in the lockout insurance case on May 16. While the parties may not know their ultimate leverage when mediation resumes, they’ll know a lot more than they knew yesterday.

  21. So offer the players 75% of the $9 billion and the dumb a$$ players will turn that down too. Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. Typical, expected decision.

  22. This ruling is really something, grown men could not sit down and work out a new CBA. The union walks away and the owners do a lockout. The decision is now in the hands of lawyers. The judge who was appointed by Obama and the next court are lawyers who were appointed by Bush. This is going to go on for sometime and the only people who will be happy and richer will be the lawyers. Do you all know why lawyers do not use Viagra? it will only make them taller.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!