The NFL Players Association has announced its decertification. After labor negotiations extended for a week, the NFLPA made a statement at 4:45 p.m., stating that the NFL had until 5:00 p.m. (fifteen minutes) to relinquish ten years of audited financial statements to guarantee an extension in negotiations. That is to say, if the NFL wanted to talk at all, they had to give up an awful lot of information that they usually would not be entitled to. The official statement is below.
The NFL Players Association announced today it has informed the NFL, NFL clubs and other necessary parties that it has renounced its status as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of the players of the National Football League.
The NFLPA will move forward as a professional trade association with the mission of supporting the interests and rights of current and former professional football players.
This means that the new negotiating venue will be ... the court system. Most are predicting a long and messy court battle, but it's not necessarily the only scenario. Individual players can now file anti-trust lawsuits against the NFL for locking out players. Let's all hope that this gets done sooner rather than later and that the battle doesn't rage on into what would be the regular season.