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."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Category: NFL

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: May 16, 2011 10:44 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

skreffty....i guess i don't get your point.  the owners had the right to per the contract to opt out.  don't players do this to owners all the time.  they are constanty demanding new contracts before the contracts they have signed previously have expired....if that is the case don't the players constantly BREECH their contracts that they signed.

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2011 10:25 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

The owners also own judges, no surprise.  The owners caused all of this by breaching the contract they signed, negotiating in bad faith, and being greedy while making record profits while fleecing communities.  The players fon't stand a chance.  An interesting aside, since the draft took place during a lock-out, one legal challenge by a rookie would make the whole thing null and void.

Since: Apr 1, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2011 10:09 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

That's the laughable part, PalmettoHawk...the NFLPA tells the owners to open their books to show loses, but refuse to open their books to retired players to show where their money is going.  Basically the NFLPA wants to have their cake and eat it too.

But to be clear, player salaries come from the "players" portion of the split of revenues between owners and players, not the owners part.  The owners use their money to run their franchises, sans player salaries, and whatever is left is their profit, if that makes sense.


Since: Jun 11, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2011 10:02 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

All said and done you present excellent points Gunny. My question for the NFLPA is simple; the owners pay the contract salaries of the players, op expenses, etc. The veterans of years gone by are suffering a myriad of disabling maladies but can't get/afford health insurance so just WHERE is the 640 million going?

No one is opening any books on either side...  

Since: May 28, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:59 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

anyone see the real sports report about how all these ex- plyers aren't able to cope with life after football?how ex jet qb.. lucas was about to commit suicide because he couldnt deal with the pain anymore?many of these o-lineman are crippled from years of playing the game.theyre made to gain so much weight they cant make it to there 50's in many goodall wants to add 2 more games?he has zero regard for these guys.this strike should be about the guys who play 2-4 years at average salaries and get hurt.they need the protection and insurance after there playing career ends.this shouldnt be about owners splitting another billion amongst themselves or the tom brady' of the game making an extra 5 mill. per season. 

Since: Jul 16, 2008
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:54 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

No, this IS good news. Now, finally, maybe some sort of agreement can be reached. The players have already made it clear that they will not accept a deal unless they are forced to it. The owners have already made it clear there will be no football without a new deal. Simple.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:52 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

It's time that the fans take a stand and coordinate their own lock-out.  Can we fans give up watching the game and quit paying ridiculous prices for games, authenic gear, autographs etc?  This would set both the players and owners back.  Let's bond together and sit this season out.

Since: May 12, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:43 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

This is getting so stupid now. Come on already and work a deal out.  One judge agrees with the players and supposely lifts the lock out, but the owners and Goodell don't honor it. Now another judge agreeing with the NFL now.  How many more judges are going to be needed to settle this pettiness over money.  Its not like the NFL,The Owners, and Players are not making money.  Plus you know after all this is over, tickets prices and everything else will go up for the fans. The only ones getting screwed is the fans.  The NFL should of learned a lesson from the MLB. MLB going on two strikes in three years almost killed baseball. The only reason why baseball got back on the map, was because everyone looked the other way and let Bonds, McGuire, and the rest use steriods to break records.  That is where the NFL is heading.  How long will us fans stick with the NFL.

Since: Apr 1, 2007
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:42 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

Just remember the palyers were and are willing to continue with the conditions of the previous labor agreement.
I said this in another post, but I think this is more between the owners and NFLPA.  Everybody keeps looking at the players and NFLPA as the same entity, when they're not.  The players make money.  The owners make money.  And the NFLPA makes money.  If you take a closer look, here's how the $9 billion from last year broke down...

Each owner recieved $131 million to run their business ($4.2 billion divided by 32 teams = $131 million)

Each team recieved (close to) $130 million for player salaries

The NFLPA received $640 million (balance of player salaries subtracted from $4.8 billion)

It is the owners who want  to scrap the old agreement and give the players a smaller share of the money.

Yeah, I can see why they'd opt out.  With each owner getting $131 million and the NFLPA getting $640 million, I'd opt out too.

So please stop blaming the players it's the owners who are not willing to accept the  huge amounts of money they were making but want even more at the expense of players.
Now, if the players had agreed to the owners' proposal of an additional $1 billion off the top, here's how the money would have been divvied up between the three...

Each owner gets $150 million (which is an additional $19 million per owner)

Each team gets $130 million for their players (no change)

NFLPA gets $40 million

See how the NFLPA's share of revenue drops like a rock?  They say they represent the players, but they're only looking out for their own interests, whatever those may be.  Now here's the kicker...the owners offered to drop their request for an additional $1 billion down to $500 million, and the NFLPA still baulked.  If they'd agreed, here are the modified numbers...

Owners - $140 million each

Players - $130 million per team

NFLPA - $340 million

Well, I guess after hauling in $640 million in 2010, why would anyone agree to "only" take in $340 million in 2011?

My point is this isn't between the players and owners, it's really between the NFLPA and owners.  The "players" are asking the owners to increase benefits for retired players, but the NFLPA is rejecting any and all approaches by the NFL to join in on that endeavor.  It's like the NFLPA is saying: "Thanks for all you did to get us here, we wish you all the best.  Now if you'll excuse us, we need to count our money, because there's a lot and so little time."

The NFLPA would LOVE to see salary caps become extinct, for players to play for whomever is willing to pay the most money with no restrictions involved like "franchise tags" and "restricted free agents," no draft, etc.  The owners put all that stuff in there, not the players.  And if all that stuff goes away, you can kiss the NFL's appeal goodbye, which will be fine with the goobers running the NFLPA, because they'll have made their millions for doing little-to-nothing, wave goodbye and walk off into the sunset.

The NFLPA has a good thing going and they know it.  And they don't want to give a single dime back to the owners, which is where the money would come from--the NFLPA--not the players.


Since: May 15, 2011
Posted on: May 16, 2011 9:30 pm

Permanent stay ruling could really hurt NFLPA

It's easy to say we're in control but the reality is how do you organize 500 million fans?

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or