The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that the emergency stay given last month that kept the lockout in place can remain at least until a final ruling is issued. Such a decision likely won't come until at least late June after both sides in the Brady v. NFL antitrust lawsuit present their case to the 8th Circuit on June 3 in St. Louis.
"It is now time to devote all of our energy to reaching a comprehensive agreement that will improve the game for the benefit of current and retired players, teams, and, most importantly, the fans," the NFL said in a statement. "This litigation has taken the parties away from the negotiating table where these issues should be resolved. We remain confident that the appellate court will determine that this is a labor dispute that should be governed by federal labor law.
"But the league and players, without further delay, should control their own destiny and decide the future of the NFL together through negotiation."
The ruling and legal explanation from two members of the three-judge panel strongly favors the NFL during its labor battle with its players (one judge dissented). If the lockout were lifted, the league would lose leverage by being forced to resume personnel moves and begin offseason workouts.
The 8th Circuit said it feels the NFL has proven it will "likely will suffer some degree of irreparable harm without a stay."
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