Mara came out and said publicly that the redskins and cowboys were "lucky they didn't take draft picks". Its that sort of back-room crap that annoyed redskins fans and cowboys fans, on top of their day they decided to release it, one day before NFL Free Agency began.
1. The Recent Football Case is a Labor Case, Not an Antitrust Case: Generally when we think about collusion in professional sports, we think about violations of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, which states that “[e]very contract, combination … or conspiracy, in the restraint of trade or commerce … is declared to be illegal.” However, the recent lawsuit filed by the NFL Players Association is not based on Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Rather, it is filed under labor law, and argues that the NFL teams violated three distinct provisions of their last collective bargaining agreement that relate specifically to disallowing collusion. These provisions include:
- Article XIII(a) (Anti-Collusion): “No Club, its employees, or agents, shall enter into any agreement express or implied, with the NFL or any other Club …. to restrict or limit individual Club decision-making [with regards to] whether or not to negotiate with a player.”
- Article XV, Sect. 2: “Neither the parties hereto, nor any Club or player shall enter into an agreement …. to serve the purpose of defeating or circumventing the intention of the parties reflected by [aspects of the agreement related to] Total Revenues, Salary Cap, Entering Player Pool, and Minimum Team Salary …”
- Article XIX, Sect. 6: “Defendants … each pledge their best efforts and cooperation … to implement the provisions of the [collective bargaining agreement] in a manner consistent with good faith and fair dealing.”
and more Graziano on this topic, directly related to Mara:
Mara is wrong because the only thing of which the Redskins and Cowboys are guilty is failing to honor a shady gentleman's agreement between 32 billionaires who don't want to pay their employees any more than they have to. What the NFL, Mara and the other owners did, effectively imposing a salary cap when none had been agreed to by the other party (i.e., the players) in their collective bargaining agreement, was patently wrong. To punish the teams that didn't go along with the wrong, and to so strenuously defend the punishment as though it were right, is the height of arrogance.