NFL Secure Court Ruling Victory Over Lockout Dispute

July 11, 2011

American Football’s National Football League (NFL) secured a victory in its ongoing dispute with the players’ union on Friday as a US appeals court rejected an earlier order from a lower court to lift the lockout.

The ruling was issued shortly after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players’ Association chief DeMaurice Smith opened a second straight day of talks over a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The lockout has been in place since March, but there are reports that the biggest remaining obstacles to a new deal are the free agency rules and a disagreement over the rookie wage scale.

The appeals court ruling allows the players’ antitrust lawsuit to move forward, but the court did take issue with the union’s decision to decertify on March 11, a move that cleared the way for players to file their still-pending antitrust lawsuit against the NFL.

In the wake of the court ruling on Friday, both sides on the debate suggested that progress was being made in talks over a new CBA.

A joint statement from the NFL and players’ union said: “While we respect the court’s decision, today’s ruling does not change our mutual recognition that this matter must be resolved through negotiation.”