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Don't Look For Congress To Get Involved In NFL Labor Dispute

Publication Date: 
February 01, 2011
Sporting News
Daniel Kaplan

Professor William B. Gould IV provided his feedback on the possible ways to prevent an NFL labor impasse. Sporting News reports:

DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, ran for his post in early 2009 emphasizing his Washington, D.C., connections and the ability to affect—through politics—the union’s relationship with the NFL.

Smith, a former lawyer with Patton Boggs, has stayed true to his word, organizing delegations of players to visit Capitol Hill, threatening to make an issue of the NFL’s antitrust exemption for broadcast contracts and getting the AFL-CIO to lobby NFL owners.


“I don’t understand it,” said Bill Gould, a former National Labor Relations Board chairman under President Bill Clinton and currently a Stanford law professor. “I just don’t see where it’s going.”

The two congressional-mandated possibilities to help settle the labor impasse, Gould said, would be to remove the antitrust exemption or impose compulsory arbitration. That seems highly unlikely given the new Republican majority in the House.