The NFL Lockout May Not Be Over?
Well, football fans should be pleased to know that the 2011-12 NFL season just may be moving forward after all, thanks to an 88 page injunction issued Monday by U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson that ordered the league’s owners to lift the NFL lockout. Despite the injunction, however, nothing is written in stone yet because the NFL owners have filed an expedited appeal to the 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, and moved Judge Nelson for a temporary stay of the injunction pending the result of their appeal. As such, until Judge Nelson rules on the request for a temporary stay of the injunction and the appeal is final, there still looms the possibility that the 2011-12 NFL season will not see any football games?
The NFL lockout was imposed after talks between the players and owners broke down in March and the players ultimately disbanded their union. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and seven other players filed the lawsuit on behalf of other current and eligible NFL players against the league to halt the lockout.
The heart of the failed negotiations between the players and NFL team owners is that the owners want to increase the season by two games, as well as disputes on how to divide the league’s $9 billion in annual revenue. The players are against an increase in season games due to the risk of injuries, and players are unconvinced by contentions that the current labor deal doesn’t take into account the rising costs related to building stadiums and promoting the game. The players argue that the league has not sufficiently opened up its books to prove this, and are rejecting the proposed split of the annual revenue.
Right now, NFL owners take $1 billion off the top of the $9 billion, and the players get about 60% of what remains. While only the star players earn millions each year, the median NFL salary is about $790,000 with the average career lasting about four years.
The disappointment about this whole dispute over money is the fact that football fans will be the real losers if the 2011-12 NFL fails to move forward.