In November 1989, the 8th Court of Appeal ruled that team owners were exempt from federal cartel laws as long as players were properly represented by a union.  In the same year, the NFLPA decided as a union and stated that its union status offered more protection to owners than to players.  The NFL remained without a collective agreement until 1993.  The NLRB has extended the use of lockouts to two major stops. Initially, the Board of Directors of Darling and Co. announced that management could block employees from the impasse. Second: Hard Equipment, Inc. v. Local 825, the Board found that the use of temporary replacements during offensive lockouts was permitted. The ability of employers to lock their employees from the impasse contributed to making the lockout a “last-way” weapon an offensive weapon, while the use of temporary workers provided additional force for the weapon.
These two cases legitimized the lockout as an offensive economic weapon, which could be used by employers to gain influence during a negotiation, and marked a “critical phase in the development of the lockout from a purely defensive tactic to a weapon that was the result of the strike and which led to the modern era in the relationship between labour and labour management” (Feldman , 2012, 842). In the sports industry (and in relations with employment services in general), offensive lockout has thus become the weapon of choice for employers. The following section highlights the rise of lockout in professional sport and provides a brief overview of labour disputes between players and owners. Collective agreements in professional sport are agreements between the owners and players of a sports league. A collective agreement for a given league contains a set of agreed rules for the distribution of league revenue between teams and players, the level of salary caps imposed on teams, restrictions on player transfers, player safety issues, player creation provisions, agency requirements, disciplinary rules, discipline rules Etc. Collective agreements play an essential role in the design of the operation of a given league, as they are the central authority of a given league, its players and agents. , their team owners and the league`s management. Quoting Mackey, Nelson J.A. also stated that “federal labour policy only exceeds the contrary policy of antitrust laws if the agreement were to, among other things, deal with mandatory collective bargaining issues” (1041).