The negotiations between professional football team owners and players opens up the world of labor disputes to a whole new audience
While National Football League owners and players inch toward their inevitable settlement--while the billionaires figure out how to split the dough with the millionaires--the federal litigation the lockout has generated continues to serve as an educative tool for a whole new audience. No, football fans, the Sherman Anti-Trust Act isn't named after Allie Sherman. No, all you couch potatoes out there, the United States Supreme Court's 1996 ruling styled Brown v. Pro Football has nothing whatsoever to do with the great Jim Brown.
On Friday, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued another ruling that favors owners over players. Dissolving on the merits an injunction against the lockout which a federal trial judge had ordered a few months ago, the appeals court panel said, by a 2-1 vote, that the players could not rely upon federal labor laws to help their cause. The players could appeal the ruling to the full 8th Circuit or try to get the Supreme Court involved, but both of those options would take time and, anyway, a deal may be in place as early as next week.