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Anti Trust Regulations And The Nfl Lockout

1658 words - 7 pages

My paper will examine the NFL Lockout that dealt with many different legal issues between the players and owners of the league, but specifically I will address the Anti-Trust Violations that surrounded their disagreements which included limiting competition, attempting to monopolize the industry and price fixing. I will argue that the owners deliberately caused the dispute over pay, in order to renegotiate their own revenue sharing agreements that were attached to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. This lockout stemmed from the NFL owners unanimously voting in 2008 not to continue with the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the National Football League Players Association following the ...view middle of the document...

There were many different ideas and bargaining chips proposed by the owners that in turn initiated the NFLPA, with the anticipation of a lockout if no deal were made, to agree to decertify from the union, in turn exposing the owners to potential antitrust violations and lawsuits. This then however caused the players to lose their ability to collectively bargain with owners, but felt it was the necessary steps they must take to eventually be able to reach an agreement. Throughout the years of professional sports this has been somewhat of reoccurring theme as I will address different cases dealing with similar topics that support my argument of how the owners attempt to use their leverage to ensure the revenue sharing agreements are in their favor before work continues while potentially breaking antitrust violations.
It almost seemed as though the owners knew a potential lock out was coming, knowing that it would require renegotiations, as in 2010 they granted their TV partners additional benefits to ensure they would receive payments for the 2011 season. When the NFLPA heard about this ground breaking news they attempted to prevent this from happening but didn’t have any sort of power to control the contracts between the owners and TV partners. I believe that the owners intentionally went about obtaining these contracts in order to gain leverage during the collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Since the owners are guaranteed this money and know that every player in the league doesn’t make the substantial amount that the select few best players do, it seemed as though they were gaining all possession of leverage and were going to use it to their advantage when negotiations and new agreements were being made. I feel as though the owners were seeking the lockout as a legitimate tactic under the labor laws to bring economic pressure onto the players as part of the bargaining process.
One of the main cases dealing with the lockout was the appeal that was filed by nine professional football players and one prospective player against the National Football League and its thirty-two owners due to the lockout and the collective bargaining agreement that expired on March 11, 201. Tom Brady v. NFL, No. 11-639 (8th Cir. 2011) After becoming aware of the owners intentions the players opted to terminate the union’s status which allowed them to file action in the district court; they were alleging that the lockout planned by the owners would suffice a group boycott and price-fixing agreement that would violate Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act. After analyzing the decision made by the NFLPA to decertify I believe it was the right resolution, because if they would have tried to prolong reaching an agreement through their union against the owners they may have never come to an agreement and still unable to work today, as they are now ten weeks into the season. Not only that, but with the leverage that the owners gained through their contract...

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