NFL owners, players and the union are accusing one another of being involved in a “unfair, unlicensed and unlawful” labor practices investigation.
The NFLPA and the NFL Players Association filed a joint lawsuit Thursday in federal court in Baltimore charging that the NFL, the NFLPA, the Baltimore Ravens and the Baltimore Colts violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by engaging in a coordinated scheme to conceal the extent of the alleged illegal labor practices.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Maryland, also accuses the NFL of failing to investigate and/or discipline players and coaches who allegedly violated the act, and the Ravens of failing “to protect players and employees from unlawful labor practices.”
“NFL owners and NFL employees are complicit in this unlawful and unlawful conduct,” the NFL said in a statement.
“We will continue to vigorously defend ourselves and will continue our efforts to stop illegal labor and labor abuses in the league.”
The NFL announced Wednesday that it had hired a new attorney to investigate the allegations.
“The NFL and NFLPA have always maintained a strong and positive relationship, and we look forward to defending ourselves vigorously,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in the statement.
The Baltimore Ravens are in the midst of a four-game losing streak, including a 27-10 defeat to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
The Ravens (4-8) lost three games in a row and have dropped five of their last six games.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has called for an end to “unprecedented and illegal” labor abuses and an investigation into the Ravens.