Not lengthy after Tom Brady and nine other existing players filed a lawsuit aimed at blocking the lockout or, at a minimum, delivering the players with enough leverage to get a fair labor deal, a class of former players filed a comparable suit, raising virtually identical allegations of antitrust violations, even though none of the retired players have any direct stake in the scenario since they are, you know, retired. The only thing saving the suit from being borderline frivolous was the addition of an undraftable rookie, who argued that the draft is illegal.
The NFL and the present players have been respectful to the class of retired players, led by Carl Eller, and their lawyer, Michael Hausfeld. The current players, for example, didn’t resist effort to combine the two circumstances, and Eller and Hausfeld had been involved in early court-ordered mediation sessions, even although Eller and Hausfeld seemed to be a small too willing to speak about what was happening behind closed doors. The league likewise has treated Eller with deference and respect, allowing him to meet with owners last week to address his concerns.
Over the past 4 weeks, the real parties in this dispute — the NFL and the NFLPA* — have been meeting in an effort to resolve the situation and enable the lockout to end. But there’s a issue. Per Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports, Hausfeld does not like the truth that the Eller plaintiffs have been excluded from recent talks, and Hausfeld is threatening to disrupt the settlement procedure.
“If our side is not heard and our desire for alter is not met, we will not agree to a settlement of this case,” Hausfeld told Cole, although also acknowledging that the Eller plaintiffs likely have no ability to avoid a settlement of the case. “We want substantial modifications in all phases of the post-career life of retirees and those problems will be addressed.”
That’s fine, but it makes the Eller case no much less weak. Once a labor deal is resurrected, the retired players’ claims morph from borderline frivolous to moot. If the NFL and the NFLPA* reach a settlement that consists of a new labor deal, the Eller case will turn into moot.
Until then, it is just borderline frivolous.