The league, not being surprised by the ruling, commented, “We are filing tonight a request with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay of the preliminary injunction pending our appeal. We believe there are strong legal and practical reasons that support a stay and that the Court of Appeals should have an opportunity to address the important legal issues that will be presented.”
Judge Nelson, however, did not rule as to what “economic system” the League should install, leaving that issue up to the owners to decide. She stated, “it was not her concern essentially whether that system ultimately violated antitrust laws.” The Judge’s ruling, therefore, does not make it clear whether the teams are forced to begin free agency or are to open their facilities to the players.
The players’ contend that free agency should begin immediately, they should have access to team facilities and it should be business as usual throughout the NFL. The players’ stated that if the owners fail to do/allow such, “They could face contempt for being in blatant violation of a Court Order.”