NFL Team Owners Declare Player Lockout

The 2011 NFL season is in jeopardy after team owners declared a lockout on Friday following an impasse in negotiations with the players’ union regarding a new collective bargaining agreement.

Union president Kevin Mawae confirmed the lockout in a text message to the Associated Press, saying that players have been barred from using team facilities. “We were informed today that players are no longer welcome at team facilities,” Mawae said. Some of the league’s top players, including star quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning immediately sought redress by filing a suit against team owners in a Minneapolis federal court. Earlier, the union also filed for injunction to prevent the lockout, the first since 1987. The lockout was called after the union decertified and put an end to negotiations that have lasted 16 days.

The NFL did not waste time before issuing a statement that attacked the union’s decision to abandon talks on the new CBA. “At a time when thousands of employees are fighting for their collective bargaining rights, this union has chosen to abandon collective bargaining in favor of a sham ‘decertification’ and antitrust litigation,” the league said.