DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 04: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a press conference at the Super Bowl XLV media center on February 4, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Green Bay Packers will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Roger Goodell
The claws are out in the NFL's collective bargaining agreement discussions. After the owners canceled negotiations, they filed a charge that the union is involved in unfair negotiating tactics. The filing asks that the National Labor Relations forces the players to negotiate in good faith.
Yes, you're reading that correctly. After the owners walked away from negotiations, they charged that the players aren't negotiating fairly. The NFL Players Association responded with a short statement.
"The players didn't walk out, and the players can’t lockout. Players want a fair, new and long-term deal. We have offered proposals and solutions on every issue the owners have raised. This claim has absolutely no merit."
This revolves around the players' decision to decertify as a union, a move that they are taking to make a lockout illegal. The Bears players voted unanimously supported decertification in October, and every other team in the league added their support. The NFLPA wasn't secretive about their plans to decertify because it allows the players to sue under anti-trust laws.
But with just weeks remaining on the current collective bargaining agreement, the owners are alleging bad faith. The Mar. 4 deadline is growing closer, and yet the owners won't sit in a room with the players.