The NFL players’ union decertified on Friday,
meaning that after 16 days of mediated talks, the sides could not reach agreement on a new deal making the league’s first work stoppage since 1987 a near certainty.
This is a result that many people saw coming. Once the NFL and NFLPA got past the ancillary issues and dealt with the fact that the league wanted to take an extra billion dollars off the top of annual revenue to offset costs, but would not provide specific enough data to satisfy the NFLPA, the step that was just announced was an inevitability.
The players’ union has decertified for the first time since 1989, leading to a possible antitrust suit. One week ago, the players and owners were able to extend talks for a week, because the league gave enough data to keep things going.
But on a Friday in which the owners put a final proposal on the table that supposedly “split the difference” in the wide gap between the interests of both parties, the lack of detailed financial disclosure was the thing that sealed it. The NFLPA had until 5:00 p.m. on Friday to decertify, and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith gave the owners a final 15-minute deadline to agree to disclose audited financials before decertification documents would be sent in.