The National Football League and the players have been sent back into mediation by a federal court judge, as the NFL lockout saga is still ongoing. The players and the league have been ordered to enter into mediation to resolve the lockout, but there are other issues to resolve. The antitrust suit against the NFL is part of the mediation agreement.
Players and owners try to end lockout
The NFL Players Association does not officially exist as a labor union anymore, but a consortium of players and league officials of the National Football League are heading back in to mediation to try to end the current NFL lockout. Last month, the NFL and the NFLPA were unable to come to an agreement regarding the collective bargaining agreement between the NFLPA and the NFL. As a result, the NFLPA had to decertify as a union because it could not collectively bargain on behalf of its members. A group of players asked a federal court for an injunction against the lockout, according to the New York Times, which was granted. Both sides have been ordered into mediation.
Antitrust suit included in mediation
After the NFLPA decertified as a union, a number of star players including Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning filed an antitrust suit against the NFL. The talks that are beginning include both the injunction to end the lockout and the antitrust suit Brady v. National Football League, according to Bloomberg. However, the players only agreed to mediation if the NFL agreed that participation in mediation would not be cited as an effort to collectively bargain, which the league agreed to. If the mediation is successful, then the work stoppage will be over and players can get back to work before the 2011 NFL season.
The 2011 NFL draft will not be affected by the NFL lockout, and teams will still pick eligible players in this year’s draft. The question is ultimately whether they will get to play. However, the NFL draft is still scheduled to take place April 28 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, according to the Washington Post. The agreement to enter mediation is an agreement to talk things out, and it is not guaranteed that the NFL and the players will agree on anything other than to go back to court. There is still a chance that no agreement will be reached and the 2011 NFL season will be shortened by a player strike.
New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/12/sports/football/12nfl.html
Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nfl/nfl-players-ordered-to-resume-talks/2011/04/11/AFJz8vLD_story.html
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