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Players and owners stop talking, NFLPA decertifies

03.11.11 at 5:19 pm ET

Apparently unable to reach an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the players and owners walked away from the negotiating table on Friday, and shortly after 5 p.m., the NFLPA announced that it has decertified with the following statement:

‘€œWASHINGTON, D.C. ‘€“ The NFL Players Association announced today it has informed the NFL, NFL clubs and other necessary parties that it has renounced its status as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of the players of the National Football League.

‘€œThe NFLPA will move forward as a professional trade association with the mission of supporting the interests and rights of current and former professional football players.’€

Decertification now allows the players to file suit against the owners for restricting trade. (Disbanding the union is necessary because a union is not allowed to sue a party with which it is collectively bargaining.) The NFLPA effectively used decertification in 1987 to sue the NFL ‘€” that sparked the legal decisions that helped lead to the CBA’€™s creation in 1993, and later, free agency.

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