ATLANTA -- In the hours following NFL owners' 31-0 vote to ratify a settlement proposal that would end the four-month-old lockout, NFL Players Association general counsel Richard Berthelsen sent an email to player representatives Thursday night detailing the issues with the potential deal.
NFL Network obtained a copy of the email, which took issue with the league setting a rough timetable for the NFLPA to reform as a union.
"In addition to depriving the players of the time needed to consider forming a union and making needed changes to the old agreement, this proposed procedure would, in my view, also violate federal labor laws," Berthelsen said in the email. "Those laws prohibit employers from coercing their employees into forming a union and could result in any agreement reached through the procedure being declared null and void."
Berthelsen's email said the league "demands that the players reform as a union and provide evidence by Tuesday, July 26, that a majority of players have signed union authorization cards."
It also said that the new CBA includes "virtually all provisions of the old CBA" and that, after voting on it, by July 26, the players would have just three days to bargain changes in terms. The agreement, the email goes on, "would become final on Saturday, July 30. If the NFL does not agree to the players' proposed changes, the old CBA terms on benefits, discipline, safety, etc., will remain unchanged for another 10 years."