8th Circuit Court Rules That NFL Lockout is Legal

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with the owners and overturned the lower court’s decision to lift the lockout. The decision isn’t particularly surprising given the court had already overturned Judge Nelson’s ruling to lift the lockout, this decision makes that stay permanent. Pro Football Weekly summed things up succinctly on twitter:

The 8th Circuit has ruled 2-1 allowing the NFL lockout. Ruling not a surprise, timing is. Hope was new CBA would come before ruling.

With good progress being made in negotiations, it is surprising that the court would issue its ruling, even though rumblings circulated that they were prepared to do so. What does this mean for the process from here on out? Hopefully not much of anything. All we know now is that the lockout won’t be lifted by the courts, it essentially kept the status quo. The best situation has always been for the two sides to come to a mutual agreement and this ruling does not change that.

While this might seem like a victory for the owners and perhaps the final piece of leverage they need to break the players, that isn’t necessarily the case. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen says as much on twitter:

Again, 8th Cicruit ruling not a total victory for owners. The antitrust case/damages lingers in this ruling, so leaves motive for settlement

Preseason revenue is also a strong motivating factor – a factor that the players and owners hold in their hands, not the courts. Don’t expect today’s ruling from the 8th Circuit Court to change the direction of the ongoing talks.

If you’re interested in the full legal-speak and opinions, click here.

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