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Elder Rooney to stay out of NFL labor dispute

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By Scott Brown
Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dan Rooney, a key figure in maintaining labor peace in the NFL for more than two decades, has no plans to try and broker a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the owners and players.

"Nope," the Steelers chairman emeritus said today after a screening of the Steelers' 2010 highlight film at Heinz Field. "Art's involved. He knows what to do."

Rooney, whose son Art Rooney II is the Steelers' president, reiterated the stance he took prior to the Super Bowl in late January. That came roughly six weeks before negotiations on a new CBA broke down and the owners locked out the players.

Rooney's reason for staying on the sidelines during the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987 is simple: his regular job takes up too much of his time.

Rooney is the US. Ambassador to Ireland, and it is a job that he said he will "probably" stay in for another year. Rooney is in Pittsburgh for a week before returning to Ireland.

Friday marked a significant day on the labor front as both sides made arguments to an appeals court in St. Louis. The players are trying to get an injunction that would temporarily end the lockout. The owners, meanwhile, want to keep it in place and put pressure on the players to reach a settlement through negotiations.

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