NFL coaches side with players on lockout

May 25, 2011 at 8:09 PM

ST. LOUIS, May 25 (UPI) -- NFL coaches Wednesday sided with players in their legal battle to end a lockout imposed by team owners in the absence of a labor contract.

The NFL Coaches Association filed a "friend of the court" brief with the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, where the appellate panel is considering an appeal of a lower court ordering the NFL to end the lockout.

The coaches group, like the players, said the lockout -- now in its third month -- is dealing irreparable harm to their careers and is banned by antitrust statutes, the NFL Network reported.

The brief said coaches are under intense pressure to produce results immediately and a training camp lockout puts them at unfair risk.

"The lockout, if left in force, will prevent the coaches from meaningfully preparing and readying themselves for the season," the brief said, specifically pointing to the cases of eight new NFL head coaches who "will be exposed to greater risk of failure."

"The Coaches Association offices with the Players Association in Washington. So this comes as no surprise," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the broadcaster.

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