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NFL Lockout Update: Circuit Court Says Lockout Is Legal

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court has sided with the owners and ruled that the NFL lockout is legal, according to this story via NFL.com.

The ruling vacates the April 25 decision of U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson that the lockout should be lifted, and said that Judge Nelson had ignored federal law in arriving at her decision.

"While we respect the court's decision, today's ruling does not change our mutual recognition that this matter must be resolved through negotiation," the league and NFLPA said in a joint statement. "We are committed to our current discussions and reaching a fair agreement that will benefit all parties for years to come, and allow for a full 2011 season."

Judges Stephen Colloton and Duane Benton ruled in favor of ownership, while Kermit Bye came down on the side of the players.

"The league and the players' union were parties to a collective bargaining agreement for almost eighteen years prior to March 2011," the appeals court said in its 2-1 decision. "They were engaged in collective bargaining over terms and conditions of employment for approximately two years ... Then, on a single day, just hours before the CBA's expiration, the union discontinued collective bargaining and disclaimed its status ... Whatever the effect of the union's disclaimer on the league's immunity from antitrust liability, the labor dispute did not suddenly disappear just because the players elected to pursue the dispute through antitrust litigation rather than collective bargaining."

Meanwhile talks are going on between the players and the owners, but as of Thursday, those talks were -- according to NFL Network's Albert Breer  -- "very difficult".

Several training camps are due to open in a couple of weeks, and of course the Hall of Fame game is scheduled for Canton, Ohio, in just 30 days.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.