Work stoppages have become commonplace in American professional
sports. Whether it takes the form of a strike or a lockout, a work
stoppage, or the threat thereof accompanies nearly every labor dispute
between owners and players. This is hardly surprising, though,
because the current system for resolving labor disputes-the National
Labor Relations Act and its implementing body, the National Labor
Relations Board is ill-fitted to the unique challenges posed by sports
labor issues. Additionally, there is no institution tasked with directly
overseeing professional sports in America.
The same is not true in Europe. Oversight bodies are common
throughout Europe and help to resolve sports labor disputes before
they turn into full-blown work stoppages. As this Article discusses,
American professional sports need this type of oversight.
Therefore, this Article advocates a two-tiered approach to solving
American professional sports' culture of frequent work stoppages.
First, the United States should enact new legislation to govern the resolution
of sports labor disputes, as it has already done to regulate labor
disputes in other American industries. Second, the United States
should create a body charged with overseeing professional sports and
implementing this newly-created legislation. By taking these two steps,
the United States can end the pattern of work stoppages that plagues
professional sports labor disputes and provide stability to this critical