The lack of a contract between the National Football League and the professional athletes who make it all happen has put the 2011 season in jeopardy. Before there is any movement on that issue, issues relating to an antitrust suit from the players and a lockout instituted by the teams needs to be resolved, and a judge has ordered supervised negotiations.
The lockout, players say, is barring them from earning a living. During the off season, it is preventing them from working out with their teams, and more to the point, it is preventing them from negotiating contracts with their teams or shopping themselves to interested clubs as free agents.
Retired players are also suing the NFL, fearing that pensions and other benefits will be disrupted.
The players contend that the league is a monopoly.
A judge is considering whether or not to bring the lockout to an end, and has appointed another judge to be the mediator. All talks will be strictly confidential.
RBR-TVBR observation: There is a more or less known amount of money on the table, and you would think it wouldn’t be all that hard to hammer out a fair plan to divvy it up. And you would also think that the untold damage that a lost season would cause should be ample motivation for both sides to negotiate in good faith. At least this is a small step — let’s hope it’s a step forward.