Locked-out players, league discuss mediation with judge


The locked-out players don’t want to go back to collective bargaining with the league. They have made a move to allow their former union boss to be present if court-supervised talks take place between the two sides.

Attorneys for the league and the players held a conference call Friday to discuss mediation with U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson, who is deciding whether to lift the lockout.

League spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed the call took place and said Nelson wanted details to remain private.

Jeffrey Kessler, a lawyer for the players, declined to comment.

The most notable development might have been the formal addition of DeMaurice Smith as an attorney for the players. Smith is the executive director of the NFL Players Association, a former union that has become a trade association.

NFLPA spokesman Carl Francis confirmed the move allows Smith to participate in any mediation sessions that might take place under Nelson’s supervision.