If you are wondering why on earth the National Football League Players’ Association is now called a “trade association,” it is because the now-former players’ union decertified, clearing the way for a class-action lawsuit against the National Football League.
To clarify the situation, a union cannot sue the company it conducts business with by law. However, should a union decertify, its members then become independent contractors. As a result, an antitrust lawsuit can be pursued.
After a one-week extension of talks, the owners and players were unable to reach an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement on March 11, which led to NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith calling for decertification at a 5 p.m. deadline, and the owners “locking out” or barring players from league facilities at Midnight.