- Associated Press - Monday, May 23, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A federal magistrate has rejected the NFL’s request for more time to file a response in the pending antitrust lawsuit filed by its locked-out players.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeanne Graham ruled Monday that the NFL must answer by June 6. The league had asked for a July 6 deadline to answer a lawsuit filed by current players but since amended to included complaints from retirees led by former Hall of Famer Carl Eller.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments June 3 on the legality of the ongoing lockout.

“The court acknowledges that the injunction of the lockout is on appeal, but there are other significant factors weighing strongly in favor of moving forward with the rest of the case,” Graham wrote. “Regardless of the ruling on appeal, this case is likely to proceed” on other grounds.

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