The reason for the lockout is that the owners and players cannot agree upon dividing up the $9 billion in annual revenue the NFL generates. Under the 2006 Collective Bargaining Agreement, the players receive close to sixty percent of the $9 billion and, now, the owners feel like they have conceded too much to the players. In addition to the dividing of revenue amongst the players and owners, the owners want to institute two more games into the regular season schedule without any additional player compensation. The players want more money if the league is going to increase the amount of games on the schedule by 12.5 percent and they feel that the addition of two more games is contradictory to what the league is preaching on player safety.
Even though the decertification of the players’ union appears to be working towards an end to the trouble the players are enduring, it is not completely flawless and the players could be at risk. The Collective Bargaining Agreement has expired and the decertification of the union dismisses all benefits the players receive from the agreement. The players no long have medical benefits, pensions, or insurance benefits. The decertification of the union also allows owners to free reign over many rules that would otherwise be blocked if the players were in a union. Gabriel Feldman explains, “Other benefits of the union, such as control over agent certification and group licensing rights, could also come under attack. Additionally, if the union no longer exists, the owners will be free to implement any rules they want (including, for example, removing the minimum player salary and the salary floor)” (Feldman). Essentially, if the owners desired, they could end up controlling player salaries and have the ability to implement rules without having to agree on it with the players which is what the NFL was ultimately attempting to do in supporting American Needle when they petitioned for a writ of certiorari from the Supreme Court. The owners could reap some of the very same benefits of being a single entity due to the decertification of the NFL Players’ Association.
1. Feldman, Gabriel. "NFL Lockout: The Legal Issues Behind the NFL-CBA Negotiations."Huffington Post. 9 Feb. 2011. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gabriel-a-feldman/the-legal-issues-behind-t_b_820579.html
2. Press, Associated. "New Judge Is Ready to Tackle NFL Lockout Issue." Titans.com. 3 Apr. 2011. http://prod.www.titans.clubs.nfl.com/news/article-1/New-Judge-is-Ready-to-Tackle-NFL-Lockout-Issue/f15d4d12-44eb-4a08-b15f-96f63b2bdfa4