NFL Continues to fight vs. The Vikings Williams Combo

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Evidently, the NFL is not ready to say “Uncle” in it’s quest to punish Pat and Kevin Williams in the ever tiring Starbuck’s case. In yet another in the seemingly endless string of appeals, the league has apparently not tired of consistently losing on the merits of the case.

“The NFL continued its legal fight against Minnesota Vikings Pat Williams and Kevin Williams Wednesday, asking a full panel from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a lower court ruling that allowed the two players to sue the league for violating state workplace laws.

It is the latest development in a case that has called into question the strength and effectiveness of collective bargaining agreements in professional sports versus state laws, and some of the new challenges of disciplining drug cheats.

The Williamses, who are not related, tested positive for the masking agent bumetanide last year, but avoided suspensions after taking their case to court. Although most of their case was dismissed in federal court, the judge sent two claims involving workplace laws back to state court and issued an injunction barring the players’ suspensions. A three-court panel of the 8th Circuit upheld the judge’s decision last month.

If the 11-judge panel of the 8th Circuit rules against the league, its last hope would be the Supreme Court. There is a hearing scheduled before Hennepin County (Minn.) Judge Gary Larson later this month regarding the injunction that allows the players to avoid punishment this season. The NFL had no comment on the latest developments. Henry Waxman – chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee – scheduled a congressional hearing for next month to address the Vikings’ case.

Waxman presided over last year’s face-off between Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.”


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