Second, professional sports leagues conduct “multi-employer negotiations” in which separate teams join forces to negotiate with players as a unit. Multi-employer negotiations are not limited to sports leagues and are fairly widespread in different sectors. However, the reason for participating in multi-employer negotiations is unique in sports leagues. In the non-sports sectors, companies are conducting multi-employer negotiations because they can offer programs that they could not offer on their own and reduce the transaction costs of several negotiations. Although professional sports teams also benefit from the effectiveness of a single bargaining unit with multiple employers, professional sports teams negotiate as a unit (the league) because of the highly interdependent nature of the teams and the need for uniform rules throughout the league. For example, leagues must have uniform game plans, rules of the game, player signing and action mechanisms, and other conditions of employment. If teams can negotiate as a unit, we make sure that these rules are consistent (p. 215) and uniform throughout the league and that the game itself exists. Finally, teams can only play a game if they commit at a given time at a given time according to specific rules. Multi-employer negotiations are therefore necessary (or at least in accordance with) the interdependence of teams and the inherent need for cooperation between team owners. The Supreme Court has extended the scope of the non-legal work exemption to new conditions unilaterally implemented (after exit) by the owners as part of their “last, best offer” after the expiry of the collective agreement (Brown, 518 federal states 241-242). At Brown, the NFL unilaterally implemented – as seen in its latest, best offer – a fixed salary for players on the team development team. NFL players challenged the conditions under the Sherman Act, but the Supreme Court found that the exception includes old and new conditions that were implemented legally (defined in labor law) after the expiry of the collective bargaining agreement.
Collective bargaining is a system that has been in place in the United States since the 1960s, with baseball being the first sport to adopt it. According to the American sports model, there is no ascent or descent in the leagues, emphasizing the competitive nature of the sport. This means that there are not always the same teams that do best (the creation of players each year and the movement of players by the body that controls the league is the best example). Controlling players` salaries also allows teams to be on the same. The dispute between cartel law and labour law in sports negotiations continued during the NFL and NBA lockouts in 2011, as players and owners continued to seek influence at the bargaining table.