Entries in Lockout (5)


Lockout Ends As NFL and Referees Association Strike a Deal

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The NFL and the NFL Referees Association (NFLRA) have reached a tentative agreement ending a three-month lockout.

The deal was reached late Wednesday night and the two sides will finalize the paperwork later Thursday morning, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.  Regular union referees will be on the field in Baltimore Thursday night when the Ravens face the Cleveland Browns.

"Our officials will be back on the field starting tomorrow night," commissioner Roger Goodell said in a joint statement released by the NFL and NFLRA.  "We appreciate the commitment of the NFLRA in working through the issues to reach this important agreement."

The new collective bargaining agreement between the two sides is for eight years, according to ESPN.  Members of the referees union are expected to vote to ratify the pact on Saturday.

Replacement referees worked the first three weeks of the regular season, and were under intense scrutiny from players, fans and coaches.  The controversy reached its apex during Monday Night Football this week after a blown call on the final play of the fourth quarter cost the Green Bay Packers a win against the Seattle Seahawks.

The fury over the replacement refs made it all the way to the White House, with President Obama tweeting earlier this week, "NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs' lockout is settled soon."

The NFLRA was seeking improved salaries and retirement benefits in their negotiations with the NFL during the lockout.

According to the joint statement released by the NFL and NFLRA Wednesday night, "Retirement benefits will be provided for new hires, and for all officials beginning in 2017, through a defined contribution arrangement, which will have two elements:  an annual league contribution made on behalf of each game official that will begin with an average of more than $18,000 per official and increase to more than $23,000 per official in 2019, and a partial match on any additional contribution that an official makes to his 401(k) account. "

"Apart from their benefit package, the game officials’ compensation will increase from an average of $149,000 a year in 2011 to $173,000 in 2013, rising to $205,000 by 2019," the statement continued.

Another point agreed upon by the two sides was the NFL’s demand for a pool of 21 developmental officials who will eventually be considered for membership in the union of 121 regular referees once properly trained.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Locked Out No More: NBA Tips Off on Christmas Day

Al Bello/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A shortened NBA season finally gets underway on Christmas Day when the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics tip off at Madison Square Garden.

“I'm very excited basketball is back,” a fan at the game told ABC News on Sunday.

Many basketball fans feared they wouldn’t see their favorite team hit the hardwood this season because of a lockout. But the NBA’s players and owners finally came to an agreement, clearing the way for a 66-game season that kicks off with five games on Christmas Day.

“I really thought there would be no season,” another fan told ABC News. “I thought the differences were too far apart money-wise and total revenue and all that.”

Fans were out in force Sunday at Madison Square Garden; many of them wore Santa hats, others waved towels and wore Knicks jerseys.

Other games slotted for Christmas Day include the Miami Heat at the Dallas Mavericks (ABC), the Chicago Bulls at the Los Angeles Lakers (ABC), Orlando at Oklahoma City (ESPN), and the LA Clippers at Golden State (ESPN).

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


NBA Players Reject Owners' Offer

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The NBA Players' Association announced Monday it has rejected the owners' latest offer to end the NBA lockout, and will disband as a union.

NBPA executive director Billy Hunter says the players will file a disclaimer of interest and begin the process of anti-trust litigation against the league after receiving a so-called "ultimatum" from Commissioner David Stern and the owners in their proposal last week. In an open-forum interview on Twitter Sunday night, Stern said a decertification of the union would result in voided contracts.

At issue between the two sides is a gap on several "system" items, including restrictions on taxpaying teams that Stern says will create a more competitive league. The players contend they have made more than enough concessions, such as a proposed seven-point drop from their 57 percent share of basketball-related income under the previous collective bargaining agreement.

The league's latest offer included a scheduled start date for Dec. 15 under the format of a 72-game season.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


NFL Owners Offer Lessons for Washington in Fiscal Problem-Solving

Adam Gault/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A tragedy was averted in Washington Monday, with a historic breakthrough between two opposing sides who’ve been deadlocked for months, with billions of dollars at stake.

That’s right: Negotiations worked -- in football, that is.

It gave New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft an idea:

"I hope we gave a little lesson to the people in Washington,” Kraft said Monday afternoon, “because the debt crisis is a lot easier to fix than this deal was.”

Actually, the NFL standoff has, by some measures, lasted longer. Football’s lockout started way back in March -- weeks before a spending clash nearly shut down the government, and months before the once-unthinkable prospect of debt default became quite thinkable.

But why can NFL players come to agreement with owners, while Republicans and Democrats are still fighting over yardage?

A few numbers may help. Football players and owners have been deadlocked on how to split up $9 billion in annual revenue. Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, the subject is the $14.3 trillion debt limit.

Revenue in the billions vs. debt in the trillions? Which one’s easier again? Here’s throwing a flag on Kraft’s play.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


NFL Lockout Back On, Following Appeals Court Ruling

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) -- A ruling by a federal appeals court on Friday, has resulted in the National Football League lockout being back on.

On Monday judge Susan Richard Nelson had ruled in favor of NFL players, ending a lockout which went into place on in March. However, on Friday, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a temporary stay of Nelson’s decision, resulting in the lockout being reinstated. The latest ruling came on the same day that players were allowed to participate in full workouts at team facilities for the first time since Nelson's ruling.

NFL clubs were reportedly notified of the lockout being back in effect sometime Friday night.

Friday’s decision is the latest chapter in the labor impasse between the NFL and its players as the two sides are yet to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio