Union wants evidence, testimony in TV case to be unsealed

MINNEAPOLIS -- The NFL Players Association has asked the federal judge who ruled in its favor on a television revenue dispute to release information from the case that the NFL wants kept confidential.

Last week, Judge David Doty sided with the players, ruling the league illegally secured $4 billion from TV contracts -- money that players argue was collected to fund a lockout.

Lawyers for the NFLPA filed a motion Wednesday to unseal evidence and testimony from the broadcast revenues proceedings in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. They wrote "such openness" is necessary to provide context that "will be the basis for rulings to come."

The NFLPA argues that the NFL hasn't explained why the material should be sealed. And union lawyers say the league hasn't cooperated with their attempt to propose limited redactions to the material to protect third-party information only.

"The NFL cannot be permitted to comment publicly about these proceedings and then turn around to embrace a cloak of confidentiality that thwarts the public's right to know," union lawyers wrote in the memorandum. "The NFL bears the burden of showing the need to keep the underlying record sealed. Despite the opportunity, no such showing has been made."

In Wednesday's motion, union lawyers wrote the NFL must respond to the motion within seven days, per a directive from Doty's chambers.

Asked to comment, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press: "We will respond to that filing in due course."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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