NFL Players’ Union Votes To Decertify

The NFL Players Union has officially voted to decertify after a day of mediation produced no results. This sets the scene for the what could be the NFL’s first work stoppage in almost 25 years.

Let’s not even discuss the tears being shed by club promoters in L.A., New York, Atlanta, Miami and Vegas. Side pieces, groupies and jump offs are scrambling to reach out to their NBA and MLB boos to compensate for the cut off from the NFL’ers  – KIDDING… kind of

But the real issue  is how to divide the $9 billion in annual revenue generated from the league. The owners claim they are losing money and would like about 18% back from the players but won’t allow the Union to take a look at their books.

Can you imagine trying to reach a fair resolution but not having full access to all the information? There is also word that at least 10 players have plans to bring antitrust lawsuits against the NFL.

Decertifying the NFL Players Association enabled the players to file antitrust litigation against the owners, which they did late Friday, according to their attorneys. Lawyers for the players also announced that they are seeking an injunction from U.S. District Judge David S. Doty in Minneapolis to block an expected lockout of players by the owners. Doty has overseen the NFL’s labor pact since 1993. It is not clear when Doty will act on that request.

The owners are likely to announce later Friday that they will lock out players, effective after the sport’s current labor deal expires at 11:59 p.m. But they may not have to move immediately.

The NFL released a statement, here are some of the details of the deal they proposed:

“The union left a very good deal on the table. It included an offer to narrow the player compensation gap that existed in the negotiations by splitting the difference; guarantee reallocation of savings from first-round rookies to veterans and retirees without negatively affecting compensation for rounds 2-7; ensure no compensation reduction for veterans; implement new year-round health and safety rules; retain the current 16-4 season format for at least two years with any subsequent changes subject to the approval of the league and union; and establish a new legacy fund for retired players ($82 million contributed by the owners over the next two years).”

I expect this to drag into summer but I am holding out hope that there will be a 2011 NFL season. I was just starting to up my appreciation level for it. I hope the NBA and it’s owners are keeping an eye on this. They’ll be in this same situation in June

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Ugly doesn’t even begin to describe what’s going on.