The NFL Is A Cartel?

How far apart are the two sides in getting a deal done?  Back on March 11th the league made a proposal to the players that bridged the billion dollar gap in year one to around 350,000.  The NFLPA didn’t respond with a counter offer.  Last week the magistrate judge overseeing the mediation asked the league to make another proposal to which the players have yet to make a counter offer to.

What the players reps did do was submit their papers to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the “Stay” ruling on the lockout.  The 89 page document outlined why the players are right and the league is wrong.  They also basically said that the judges who ruled in favor of allowing the “stay” are misguided.  On the opening page they said that the ruling would be a “perverse outcome” that “can be predicated only on a seriously erroneous construction of labor law, abetted by a misapprehension of the facts of this dispute.”

As ProFootballTalk called it, they basically said the judges were corrupt and/or stupid.

What is more baffling, at least to me, is that the legal team representing the players have now taken to calling the NFL and it’s owners a “Cartel”.  A word more directly associated with something bad like a “drug cartel”.  They used the term on three separate occasions.

Now whether or not they truly believe that to be the case or are simply trying to rally their own cause, it simply takes us to the realization that there is no way in hell these two sides will be sitting down any time soon and hashing out a new collective bargaining agreement.  The league has not filed their response to the court.  Both sides will be in court on June 3rd when the 8th Circuit opens the case for a final hearing.  A final hearing on whether Judge Susan Nelson had the authority and the legal rights to force the lifting of the lockout.

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