More Than Just Spelling: How Differences in International Labor Laws Create Barriers to Expansion of the American National Sports Leagues into EuropeExpressO (2011)
AbstractFor decades now, all four of the U.S. National Sporting Leagues have been discussing a potential international expansion into Europe. Exhibition games have been scheduled abroad to increase interest. Plans have been created to decrease the number of times teams would have to travel between continents to play. Provisions regarding international expansion have even been entered into several of the leagues’ Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA). However, one large roadblock remains: international labor laws. As recent events in the NFL have shown us, the nature of a country’s labor law can have a monumental effect on how bargaining progresses. Without the player association’s threat of an antitrust suit bargaining may have progressed quite differently. Labor negotiations in the United States are regulated by a compromise known as the nonstatutory labor exemption whereby the courts will uphold provisions of a CBA, so long as it (1) primarily affects the parties of the CBA, (2) is a mandatory subject of collective bargaining, and (3) is a result of good faith, arms length, bargaining. This compromise allows the national leagues to impose restrictions necessary to their survival, which otherwise might run afoul of antitrust laws. However, European countries do not have as broad a labor exemption as the United States, which then begs the question: whose labor law prevails? This Comment will first look at the jurisprudence stemming from those national leagues containing Canadian teams, and attempts to extrapolate from there the effect European teams would have on the bargaining process. It will then examine other international leagues, such as the Union of European Leagues for Basketball, to suggest a way of organizing a European expansion.
Publication DateSeptember 1, 2011
Citation InformationAnna E Larson. "More Than Just Spelling: How Differences in International Labor Laws Create Barriers to Expansion of the American National Sports Leagues into Europe" ExpressO (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/anna_larson/1/