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Old 04-06-2011, 01:43 PM
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Nicole Nicole is offline
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Default Players ask judge to end NFL's labor lockout

Players ask judge to end NFL's labor lockout

ST. PAUL, Minn. A federal judge in St. Paul, Minnesota began hearing arguments in a dispute Tuesday that threatens to disrupt the 2011 season of the National Football League.

Star quarterbacks Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, among other current and retired players, and would-be rookies, are asking U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson to order an end to the NFL's labor lockout.

Owners of the league's 32 teams declared a lockout last month after negotiations broke down over a new collective bargaining agreement and the NFL Players Association said it would no longer function as a union.

"We are here to get your honor to lift the illegal lockout so that these players can go back to work," James Quinn, an attorney for the players, told Judge Nelson. "They've given up the right to file grievances, the right to strike. They don't even have health insurance for their families because the NFL has cut that off."

At issue is the formula by which the NFL and its players would divide some $9 billion in annual revenue.

During the lockout, the players won't be paid and teams can't practice, sign new players or make trades.

The NFL draft of college players is still scheduled to start April 28.

Judge Nelson could reach a decision as early as Wednesday although it could take up to two weeks.

Any decision made will likely be appealed.

The fight is complicated and perhaps uninteresting to the average football plan in early April when the scheduled start of the season is still five months away but the fate of everyone's favorite team hangs in the balance.

"Even though football is enjoying this unprecedented popularity... nothing is invulnerable," said David Allen Larson, a professor of labor and employment law at Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, told the Associated Press.
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