NFL Lockout: What Will Happen If NFLPA Decertifies Before the Deadline?
NFL Lockout Could Hit Courts If NFLPA Does Indeed Decertify
As many NFL fans are aware, the NFL players are in danger of being locked out by the NFL. The current CBA is valid until 11:59 pm on Thursday night. After that, all hell could break loose. There are a great number of scenarios to ponder. One such interesting possibility is the NFLPA decertifying as a union.
Rumors abounded this weekend that the NFLPA did agree to decertify. That would basically dissolve the association as a union. Without a union, there is nothing for the NFL to lock out. In a sense, it would simply be an employer halting operations.
The NFLPA would then be forced to take their argument to court arguing an anti-trust violation. The NFL would make their case of an invalid certification to the National Labor Relations Board.
Gary Roberts, a former outside counsel for the league, told SportsBusiness Journal, “If the union decertifies, it is not really correct to call it a lockout...As soon as you don’t have a union, it’s an employer ceasing operations.”
For fans, the ramifications could be positive or dire. This could halt the negotiations for a new CBA. The NFL and NFLPA would be fighting over the validity of the dissolved union before they go over the more important aspects of a new CBA.
In a sense, this could add some time to the work stoppage. That is the worst-case scenario. The good news is that a similar situation arose amidst the players' strike in 1987. That led directly to the current CBA.
All of this legalese means one thing. It is not going well with the current negotiations. We very well could be headed into a muddy fight between the NFL and its current players.
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