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Football: Appeals court rules in favor of owners

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By Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The NFL’s lockout remains in place, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. That means the league likely won’t get back to business until at least next month — and maybe much longer than that.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the lockout can stay until a full appeal is heard on whether it is legal. That hearing is scheduled for June 3 in St. Louis, before the same panel that issued this 2-1 decision.
The appellate court said it believes the NFL has proven it “likely will suffer some degree of irreparable harm without a stay.” The court also cast doubt on the conclusions of U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson, who ruled April 25 that the lockout should be lifted to save the players from irreversible damage. The 8th Circuit panel put her decision on hold four days later.
“The league has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits,” the appellate court majority wrote.
The decision came as NFL owners and players finished their latest round of court-ordered mediation behind closed doors, a session that lasted more than eight hours. This was the fifth day of talks in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, the first since April 20.


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