League: Ruling has no impact on CBA negotiations

IRVING, Texas — Despite claims to the contrary by the NFL Players Association, NFL executive vice president and general counsel Jeff Pash insisted that Monday’s unanimous Supreme Court ruling against the league in its case against American Needle has no impact on collective bargaining agreement negotiations.

The NFLPA maintains that the NFL would be more motivated to negotiate a deal now that the Supreme Court has ruled that it is not a single entity and doesn’t have antitrust protection when it contracts for apparel licensing and other merchandise bearing team logos. However, Pash said the league is every bit as motivated for CBA negotiations now as it was before the ruling.

In fact, he said talks were scheduled for the “near future,” although he would not specify the date or location.

“This case was never about labor,” said Pash, who drew the largest gathering of reporters covering the two-day NFL Spring Meeting when he explained the impact of the ruling from the league’s perspective. “We have a collective bargaining relationship. It is an active relationship. We’re going to continue to operate in a way that is consistent with the labor laws. We’re going to continue to press for a resolution through the collective bargaining process, and I don’t think the antitrust laws are going to apply at all. And this case, today’s decision, doesn’t change that at all.”

— Vic Carucci

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