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Wednesday, March 30, 2011
New Sports Illustrated Video on Eller v. NFL

I was interviewed by Maggie Gray of Sports Illustrated/CNN video to discuss a new lawsuit filed by Carl Eller, Priest Holmes and others on behalf of retired and prospective NFL players. Their core argument is that the NFL lockout and various NFL restrictions on trade, including the draft, are illegal under federal antitrust law -- an argument also made in Brady v. NFL -- but unlike current NFL players, retired and prospective players are not members of the NFLPA bargaining unit. These players believe they too will be harmed by the lockout (for instance, various health-related programs for retired NFL players are funded in part by fines imposed on current players; with no football, no fines will be levied, and retired players' programs will lose funding). In response, the NFL will likely argue that while they are not bargaining members of the NFLPA, the NFLPA nonetheless represents their interests. Here's the video:


In the first instance, retired players are not part of the bargaining unit and the union owes no duty of fair representation to them. It's difficult for me to understand where the anti-trust violation lies...after all retired players are not, or no longer, in the trade of obtaining employment. If anything, it would appear at first glance that this might fall under ERISA law.

Blogger Tribe -- 3/30/2011 5:42 PM  

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