(Minneapolis, MN) — A federal judge is siding with professional football players in the NFL’s legal dispute. But the league is appealing the Monday ruling to a federal appeals court. U.S. District Court Judge Susan Nelson ruled in favor of the players, who argue they’re being harmed by the owner’s six-week lockout. The ruling supports the players’ contention they have short careers and only a limited time to earn money. The ruling also agrees the lockout hurts football fans, who have investment in the 2011 season.
The NFL says it will appeal the decision, which forces the league to continue off-season business. The league will take its case to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The NFL locked out the players after collective bargaining collapsed. The 2011 NFL season is supposed to open September 8th.