Welcome to PatsFans.com

Request for perspective on NFL-NFLPA conflict now vs. the 1990s

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PatsFanStnfrd, May 18, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. PatsFanStnfrd

    PatsFanStnfrd Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Messages:
    540
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    As a football fan for the past decade, I have followed developments that led to the breakdown of the CBA, the League lockout and the disbanding and consequent player anti-trust suit now in the courts. I read the decisions handed down by Nelson and the 8th Circuit granting the stay of Nelson's decision to lift the lockout. The 8th Circuit language makes it clear that the owners are likely to prevail in continuing their lockout because the District Court had no jurisdiction in enjoining the lockout.

    Yet I know that the last time there was a big work stoppage (a player strike?) in the 1990s, the players were able to play games while suing the owners in a case that took two or three years to reach settlement. So the players at that time found legal theories that allowed them to play the game, get paid while suing the owners for antitrust violations. Why did the owners go along when they could have locked them out at that time? What are the differences?

    My request is for some one with a longer memory and legal understanding of facts and circumstances to explain why the players were allowed to do in the 1990s what they may be precluded from doing today.

    Thank you.
  2. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    29,738
    Likes Received:
    220
    Ratings:
    +479 / 5 / -1

    It was actually 1987. That time the players striked, not the owners locking them out. The owners got replacement players and the players started to cross the picket line. The players finally gave in and agreed to work under no CBA while the case continued. This time the owners are locking them out and not letting them go back to work.

    In 1987, it was a clear case that the players were in the right. There was no free agency as we know it and players were basically forced to accept offers from the team they were drafted by. They were not getting nearly the percentages of revenues either.

    This time around it isn't really clear who is in the right or wrong. Both sides have valid points. The owners say the last CBA was an unsubstainable business model which is true over time. The players feel that they deserve a percentage of the profits that owners' offers do not reach which is also true. Neither side wants to budge much from their original stance which neither side is reasonable and wish to fight in court rather than negotiate in the boardroom.
  3. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2005
    Messages:
    19,949
    Likes Received:
    29
    Ratings:
    +29 / 0 / -0

    Ownership also came to believe a costly mistake in strategy was made back in the day when they allowed the players to work (and earn) throughout the lawsuit they eventually prevailed on. Because that lawsuit seen to it's conclusion ultimately resulted in them requiring a landmark CBA in order to operate with any kind of collective rules regarding limitations on FA going forward. And that ultimately required re-certification of the NFLPA as a union, which due to leverage born of the circumstances (players were still getting paid...) came at the expense of having a federal judge granted oversight that is unprecedented in any other league's labor dealings.

    They don't want that to be the case going forward. That's why they keep talking about labor relations and negotiations rather than a settlement. They are banking on the players unity crumbling and the rank and file forcing the NFLPA to re-certify and negotiate a new CBA absent judicial oversight long before the court mandates that happen to achieve a settlement (because that court mandate with appeals could take years). And for that to happen they realistically need to be able to convince the players they will be kept locked out and facing impending financial hardship until a new CBA is negotiated. The players from 1987 would not have remained united long enough to see the Reggie White case past discovery had they been out of work... This generation makes a lot more, but also spend it as foolishly as ever. That is the one constant the owners are banking on remains...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>