The National Labor Relations Board yesterday issued an anticipated unfair labor practices complaint against the NFL Management Council that could cost the NFL more than $20 million for barring striking players from competing the weekend of Oct. 18-19 after a 24-day strike ended.
An NFL attorney said the league will appeal.
An NLRB spokesman said last week that the complaint has been authorized by general counsel Rosemary Collyer and would be issued this week, citing that the league discriminated against the striking players by setting a different reporting date for striking players and for other nonroster players to be eligible to play that weekend.
In addition to ordering the league's 28 teams to pay a game check and prorated incentives for the returning strikers who did not report by their deadline, the NLRB ordered the league to pay playoff monies to players whose teams otherwise would have made the playoffs except that replacement players lost the games of Oct. 18 and 19.
NFL attorney Richard Appel told United Press International: "We disagree vehemently with the general counsel's interpretation of the law."
NFL Players Association attorney Dick Berthelsen said the day after the NLRB said it was going to issue the complaint that he was confident the administrative law judge would uphold the complaint.