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Lockout Is Over, At Least Temporarily

DeMaurice Smith

Smith and the players got a win today.

The NFL’s lockout is over, at least temporarily, after U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson granted the players a preliminary injunction Monday.

The ruling is a victory for the players, who claimed the lockout was hurting their careers. The NFL filed an appeal in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.

The plaintiffs “have made a strong showing that allowing the League to continue their ‘lockout’ is presently inflicting, and will continue to inflict, irreparable harm upon them, particularly when weighed against the lack of any real injury that would be imposed on the NFL by issuing the preliminary injunction,” Nelson wrote.

What this means exactly isn’t real clear.

Theoretically, the players could again show up at team facilities and have contact with coaches. It could also mean free agents could begin signing contracts, although the rules haven’t been spelled out for such business because their is no collective bargaining agreement.

“They better act quickly, because as of right now there’s no stay and, presumably, players could sign with teams,” he said. “There are no guidelines as of right now, so they have to put something in place quickly,” said Jim Quinn, an attorney for the players.

Finally, the league must determine if offseason programs can begin while the appeal is heard.

Nelson originally heard arguments on April 6. She then ordered the league and players to resume mediation with a federal magistrate. The two sides met for four days, but won’t meet again until May 16.

With appeals, the legal proceedings in this fight will probably continue into summer.

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. Randy R April 25, 2011

    Ditch the players..start over begining with the draft, end this B S. Any ex nfl players that want to come and play in the new NFL for real money, vs the UFL, or CFL (joke) can, the rest can go find a real job for $50,000 a year

  2. iltarion April 26, 2011

    I have a decent understanding of business law, but this is beyond my understanding. It must have something to do with antitrust law. I don’t see how a private business doesn’t have the right to shut down whenever it wants to. Typically, judges issue injunctions when lockouts are preventing the continuation of essential social services. There is nothing essential about football.

    It is pretty obvious there is some room for skepticism regarding this ruling when you consider the use of the phrase “irreparable harm” by the judge. I FAIL to see how a lockout potentially forcing the players to accept taking 55% of the NFL’s revenue instead of 60% is causing “irreparable” effin “harm”. Even if the lockout was permanent and every NFL players’ career ended today, aka fantasy land, they still would be fully capable of finding work like everyone else. “Irreparable harm”? Effin HOW??