Less than two months after their last victory in court, the NFL players won another legal victory Monday when U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson, siding with the players, ordered an immediate end to the lockout. Some players are expected to report to work at the various NFL camps around the league as early as today (April 26).
Back on March 1, U.S. District Judge David Doty sided with the players by issuing a ruling that in effect would prevent the NFL owners from accessing a “war chest” of TV broadcast revenue to fund their lockout. In that case, the NFLPA had contended that the TV funds had been unfairly and illegally secured.
The Doty and Nelson rulings add to an impressive track record for the NFLPA vs. the NFL owners over the past 20 years. Nearly every significant legal ruling has gone the players way over the past two decades.
While the owners quickly appealed Nelson’s ruling with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, the players have nonetheless secured a major victory in the court of public opinion in the current NFL labor dispute.
Moreover, Nelson, in her ruling, addressed the interests of the fans –often the forgotten stakehoder in this dispute.
[T]he public ramifications of this dispute exceed the abstract principles of the antitrust laws, as professional football involves many layers of tangible economic impact, ranging from broadcast revenues down to concessions sales,” wrote Nelson. “And, of course, the public interest represented by the fans of professional football — who have a strong investment in the 2011 season — is an intangible interest that weighs against the lockout. In short, this particular employment dispute is far from a purely private argument over compensation.”
For more on Nelson’s ruling and its potential ramifications: Judge ends lockout; owners file appeal
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Episode #30 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The State of College Athletics with Dr. David Ridpath: Problems and Potential Solutions – Ridpath is a sports administration professor at Ohio University and a long-time member of The Drake Group, a college sports reform think tank.
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Episode #29 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Honorable Tom McMillen Visits League of Fans’ Sports Forum – McMillen is a former All-American basketball player, Olympian, Rhodes Scholar and U.S. Congressman. We discuss the state of college athletics today.
Episode #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world. We discuss problems in youth sports today.
Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
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Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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