Federal appeals court rules NFL lockout is legal

The US 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis on April 25, 2011 put the NFL lockout on hold after the players said the work stoppage was causing them "irreparable harm". On Friday, a Federal appeals court ruled to throw out the judge's order, allowing NFL's lockout while the owners and players worked on reaching a new labor deal to start the 2011 season.

"We conclude that the injunction did not conform to the provisions of the Norris-LaGuardia Act ... and we therefore vacate the district court's order," the appellate court said in its 54-page ruling.

"While we respect the court's decision, today's ruling does not change our mutual recognition that this matter must be resolved through negotiation," the NFL and NFLPA said in a joint statement. "We are committed to our current discussions and reaching a fair agreement that will benefit all parties for years to come, and allow for a full 2011 season."

The lockout began after talks between the league and the players over a bargaining agreement broke down on March 11.