SBD/Closing Bell

NFLPA's Kessler Concludes IMG WCOS With Discussion On Labor

SportsBusiness Journal/SportsBusiness Daily’s IMG World Congress of Sports concluded Thursday with a discussion centered around the hottest topic in sports business: labor. NFLPA outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler provided some insight into what the decertified NFLPA envisions could come about if Judge Susan Nelson rules in its favor next week and blocks the NFL lockout. Kessler believes if the lockout is lifted, teams will impose severe restrictions on the players. “We believe, and we have good reason to believe, their intention would be to impose restrictions that are going to be anti-competitive. In fact, more restrictive than anything that has ever been agreed to previously in collective bargaining.”

Keeping in mind the Brady v. NFL antitrust lawsuit, Kessler said, “That’s why that case also seeks to stop them from doing that, to stop them from substituting for a lockout with a set of restrictions that themselves would be antitrust violations.” He added, “If the league wants to disabuse us of that notion, and not impose such restrictions, then life will be a lot easier, legally, for them. But right now, we have every reason to believe that if they’re forced to impose a system, it’s not going to be one that complies with the antitrust laws. But that’s what we’ll find out.”
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