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NFL Lockout Watch, Day 26: Lockout Hearing Taking Place Today In St. Paul
Published April 6, 2011
IRREPARABLE HARM THE BIGGEST HURDLE: Perhaps the players’ biggest hurdle will be proving irreparable harm, one of the threshold legal criteria for winning an injunction. Irreparable harm is generally considered non-economic harm, and the players contend that their inability to use team facilities is a significant harm to their careers. The league contends it is not. Several players have been quoted in publications in recent weeks downplaying the current severity of the lockout. Giants K Lawrence Tynes in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal was quoted as saying he would not be worried until about June about the lockout. That could indicate he is not being irreparably harmed by the lockout, at least at the moment. The players must also convince Nelson they have a high likelihood of winning the antitrust case in order to get the injunction. Given they are seeking removal of most free agency restrictions, and in all likelihood would seek to disallow the draft after the one later this month, a players victory would be a major setback for the owners. And if the lawsuits are not thrown out, the league could be faced, like in ‘93, with a court-ordered settlement that installs federal judicial oversight over the league’s labor relations. That is something the NFL has been strenuously seeking to avoid.