The NFLPA has been dealt it’s first blow in this off-season of labor unrest. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the NFL a permanent “stay” until the court renders a formal decision on the case presided over by Judge Susan Nelson last month.
What does this mean? Simple, the lockout will remain in effect until the court makes a ruling on the lockout. There is no appeal process for the players on this. That date is set for June 3rd. It also means that there is zero chance of anything going on with the labor issue until that date.
The court found in favor of the owners 2-1 citing that the league made a significant claim that they would indeed suffer irreprable harm if the lockout was lifted. Specifically citing the threat of more lawsuits from the players in regards to any and all rules implemented by the league should they be forced to open their doors.
On the other side of that coin, Sal Palontonia of ESPN is reporting that a significant move was made during mediation today when the presiding magistrate judge asked the league to present the players with another proposal and the league obliged. Unfortunately, mediation is only scheduled for one more day before another extended break.
For now, what little bit of leverage is available has swung to the owners side of the negotiating table but that could be short lived if the same judges rule in favor of the players in June. It’s a risky move by either party to allow the courts to sway the pendulum to one side or the other. Both the owners and the players should do whatever it takes to get something done now.
Which means of course that neither side will.