NFL Owners Reinstate Lockout and Appeal for its Continuation

May 3, 2011

Yesterday, May 2, the National Football League (NFL) told a federal appeals court that its appeal regarding the legality of a lockout can “readily be resolved” before the start of next season.

At the end of last week a three-judge panel of the appeals court put US District Judge Susan Richard Nelson’s order to lift the 45-day lockout on hold, leading the owners to immediately reinstate the lockout. The League have now filed a brief with the eighth US Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, arguing that the lockout should remain on hold until the two sides have fought out their court battle.

NFL owners claimed that federal law barred an interference in labour disputes such as that of the US appeals court’s decision to delay enforcement of the lower court’s order stopping their lockout of players.

The NFL stated in court papers: “The absence of a stay would irreparably harm the NFL by undercutting its labour law rights. Federal courts may not interfere – on either side – in cases involving or growing out of a labour dispute.”

Attorneys for the players argued last week against a stay of Nelson’s order, suggesting that the players’ careers would be damaged by the continued lockout. However, the NFL has claimed in its new filing that the players’ alleged fears are exaggerated.