Judge Moves Up Date For NFL Response In Players' Antitrust Suit
The NFL will not have to respond today to the antitrust lawsuit filed March 11 by 10 players against the league, but the response is now due June 6, not July 6 as the league had requested. The league has requested a third extension because it is appealing a lower court’s decision lifting the lockout, which has been stayed. In a ruling that came down within the last hour, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeanne Graham wrote, “Regardless of the ruling on appeal, this case is likely to proceed on the Brady Plaintiffs’ other claims.” The case is Brady v NFL.
The players are claiming the lockout and free agency restrictions are illegal under antitrust laws. The players saw the request for delay as a delaying tactic. With the league having won a key victory at the 8th Circuit Court staying the lockout decision, the players focus appears to be shifting to pursuing the antitrust case. The court also reversed its decision giving the league until July 6 to respond to a separate claim from retired players led by Carl Eller, and said the league now has to also respond by June 6.
The league and players will argue the appeal of the lower’s court’s ruling enjoining the lockout on June 3 before a three judge panel of the 8th Circuit.