NFL Oppose Players’ Bid to Block Lockout

March 22, 2011

National Football League (NFL) owners have voiced their opposition to a bid by 10 of the league’s leading players for an order blocking a lockout during collective bargaining, saying the federal court lacks jurisdiction over the dispute.

According to the NFL, only the National Labor Relations Board has the authority to resolve the fight, with owners arguing: “The jurisdictional bar applies as long as this case ‘involves or grows out of’ a labor dispute, a test that is clearly satisfied here.”

Tom BradyPeyton Manning and Drew Brees led the group that sued the league on March 11 after negotiations to craft a new contract collapsed and the National Football League Players Association said it no longer would function as a union.

Owners declared a lockout hours later, during which players won’t be paid, and teams can’t practice, sign new players or make trades, shutting down the most-watched and wealthiest U.S. sport at midnight.

Players’ attorney Jeffrey L. Kessler said today in a telephone interview: “There’s nothing unexpected in these papers.

“We obviously disagree,” added Kessler.