NFL Draft 2011: Are Roger Goddell and the NFL Owners Breaking the Law?

As the 2011 NFL draft opened on Thursday night, perhaps the biggest story was the fact that Commissioner Roger Goodell was showered with boos from the frustrated NFL fans in attendance.

For the first time, the group that has been harmed most by the lockout, the fans, had an opportunity to voice their displeasure with Goodell and the owners over what has become a rather ridiculous charade.

The NFL Owners (referred to as the NFL from hereon out) have lost three court battles to the NFLPA.

First, there was the television deal that the NFL entered into which had lockout insurance. Not only was this was a blatant violation of the CBA between the NFL and the NFLPA, but it also showed that from a very early point, the NFL had no intent of resolving this matter before the regular season began.

Then, the NFLPA filed for an injunction to stop the NFL from locking the players out. In an 89 page decision, Judge Susan Richard Nelson blasted the NFL for the way it handled the situation and ruled that the NFLPA was likely to win at trial on the merits of the case.

This meant they would win the real argument about whether or not the lockout was legal. As such, she ruled that the NFL would be enjoined from locking out the players.


The following day, the NFL made statements that they would need a few days to figure out how to handle the situation and told teams not to allow players into their weight rooms.

At this point, I should note that I am a practicing attorney, and though I do not practice labor law, I am familiar with injunctions, the injunction process and what the Judge's ruling meant.

In my opinion, the NFL was already in violation of a court order when it told teams to keep players out of their weight rooms.

Their stance that they needed time to figure out how to handle the situation has no legal grounds. Had Judge Nelson wanted, she could have sta...

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