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SBD/May 2, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
NFL Lockout Watch, Day 52: NFL In Court Filing Blasts Judge For Lifting Lockout
Published May 2, 2011
PLAYERS BEING USED AS EXAMPLES: As part of these arguments the league for the first time began using individual players as examples, a tactic the league has largely avoided in the past. For example, the league used quotes from Chiefs LB Mike Vrabel and Cardinals K Jay Feely that suggested the NFLPA was still operating. And the league cited quotes from Ravens LB Ray Lewis and Patriots WR Wes Welker talking about how they were enjoying the lockout. “The ‘evidence’ of harm on which the District Court relied consisted primarily of the conclusory opinions of the NFLPA’s General Counsel and some player agents,” the league contended. “The NFL asked for, but did not receive, the opportunity to challenge those assertions on cross-examination at an evidentiary hearing. … Notably, not a single plaintiff attested to any harm being suffered.” From a big picture, the league contended that if the NFLPA were just able to disclaim and in the next moment file an antitrust lawsuit, collective bargaining across the country would be hurt. And the league looked to rebut arguments that by planning for a season, this was proof denying the stay would not irreparably harm the league while the appeal is heard. The league wrote it created the rules under threat of contempt, and free agency had still not been implemented. The league suggested that the 8th Circuit could rule by next month or early July.