Amidst CBA Negotiations the NLL Finds Legal Trouble

Photo Courtesy of Inside Lacrosse

Sitting here on October 29th we are about six weeks away from the start of the 2019 NLL season which has a lot of hype around it with two new franchises set to take the floor. The league has been expanding and seems to be having a ton of success. 

All the recent success of the league and building towards this season has been overshadowed by ongoing CBA negotiations between the NLL and PLPA. That issue has been looming in the background but has come to the forefront over the past month.

In addition to the ongoing CBA negotiations between the PLPA and NLL, the 2019 season is looking even more in jeopardy after the league has found themselves in quite a bit of legal trouble after the Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has agreed with a complaint made by the PLPA.

The complaint made by the PLPA to the NLRB was that the NLL and it's member clubs violated federal law by negotiating standard player agreements (SPAs) directly with players after the CBA expired in August of this year.

After the CBA expired the PLPA withdrew which allowed teams to negotiate SPAs with players directly, but the PLPA insisted that all SPAs be negotiated with designated PLPA player reps only. The league did not follow and thus the actions of the NLL and member teams have been deemed illegal.

According to the to the PLPA's press release they will order the NLRB to nullify all SPAs that were negotiated illegally between players and teams. If the NLL and it's member teams stop this illegal action, the federal government will issue a formal written complaint against the league and a case will be scheduled for trial. 

The big question here is why did the players negotiate SPAs with the league and teams if they knew that the PLPA had insisted that it only be done through designated player reps? This just another layer of chaos that is the professional lacrosse landscape at the moment.