“The parties have not achieved an overall agreement, nor have they been able to resolve the strongly held competing positions that separated them on core issues.“No useful purpose would be served by requesting the parties to continue the mediation process at this time.”
That was the statement yesterday from George Cohen, the federal mediator who was President Obama's choice to work with the NFL and NFLPA. The players association decertified on Friday, and the league instituted a lockout at midnight Saturday morning.
With the two parties no longer bound by the federal mediator's request for a media blackout, both sides immediately made public statements, blaming the other for the impasse. As the fight moves from boardroom to courtroom, it's safe to expect the accusations to continue to fly, as players and owners attempt to compete for the goodwill of the public.
As soon as the decertifcation was made official, a group of players including Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady filed an anti-trust suit against the league in Judge David Doty's district court.