Judge Rejects NFL Owners Request for Delay of Lockout Lift

April 28, 2011

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard has ruled that National Football League (NFL) team owners must end their lockout of players, prostate rejecting the owners’ request to delay enforcement of her earlier order while they appeal it.

Nelson, yesterday, April 27, denied the league owners’ request to stay her April 25 decision in an antitrust lawsuit filed by 10 top American football players.

Nelson said in her decision: “The NFL has not met its burden for obtaining a stay pending appeal, expedited or otherwise. Defendants are under no obligation to enter a new contract with any player. Conversely, the players face the real and immediate harm of a lost season in a typically short professional career.”

The NFL ordered the lockout on March 12 after negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement collapsed as the players association disbanded, announcing on March 11 that it would no longer act as a union. The players case, led by the likes of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, alleging league policies and the lockout violate U.S. antitrust law, was filed that day.

Spokesman for the league Greg Aiello said it would ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for a stay, adding: “We believe there are strong legal and practical reasons that support a stay and that the Court of Appeals should have an opportunity to address the important legal issues that will be presented.

“We are evaluating the district court’s decision and will advise our clubs in the morning on how to proceed.”