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NFL Player’s Association Decertifies

The NFL Player’s Association has dropped the bomb.  Filing decertification papers in court, the union has stepped away from the bargaining table and moved this saga from negotiation to litigation.

Brendan Smialowski, Getty Images

This is a day that has been long expected and feared by those in the know on the subject.  The NFL management lead by Roger Goodell and their counterpart DeMaurice Smith’s NFL Player’s Association are now dug in for what is expected to be a prolonged legal battle.  Decertification has long been a tool used by the players association – and has been a looming threat over these negotiations since they began. It was last used in 1989, a move that lead to free agency, among other mainstays in today’s NFL.

Decertification effectively disbands the union and allows the players to individually file anti-trust lawsuits against the NFL.  Proceedings will take place in the court of Judge David Doty.  Doty is seen as a Judge who is likely to rule with the union. Such a judicial leaning is one that is likely to be heavily appealed by the NFL and their vast slew of lawyers.  The original rulings and their subsequent numerous appeals mean that we’re headed to an almost certain drawn out court battle with no end in sight.

Still, little is known about the up coming days. Exactly what lawsuits will be brought and their rulings are unknown variables which will ultimately determine the outcome of this litigation.  We don’t know exactly what’s ahead, but I’d get ready for a nasty, long-term fight.

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