NFL Owners Meeting: Lawyers Give Update On Lockout Legal Strategy
NFL owners gather today for the second and final day of their annual meeting in New Orleans this week. Talk is expected to be dominated by a proposal to change the kickoff procedures. The league also will get an update on fan conduct from Jeff Miller, one of the league’s security professionals.
Yesterday’s meeting was dominated by an overview on the labor situation, with the league’s lawyers updating the owners on legal strategy. A group of players are suing the league for antitrust violations, and the league has locked out the players. The league filed its brief in the case yesterday, focusing in part on what it termed the inconsistency of the players' position. The brief stated the players could not argue that the lockout is an antitrust violation and should be lifted and the former league rules imposed, while also claiming the league’s rules are antitrust violations. The players might argue, however, that the league could simply impose an economic system that did not contain the objectionable items, like franchise tags.
The league also argued the players faced no irreparable damages, the lockout was legal, the court has no jurisdiction, the court should at least wait until a charge at the NLRB challenging the union's decertification is finished, the public interest is served by keeping the lockout, and the players had not truly decertified their union and thus could not sue.