After the third game during the 1987 NFL football season, the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) (petitioner) went on strike due to contract disputes with the league. Thereafter, the NFL Management Council (NFLMC) (respondent) decided to use replacement players for several of the subsequent games. The pressures felt by the football players forced the NFLPA to call off the strike and send the players back to work on Thursday, October 15. However, under the NFL’s labor policy, all of the teams refused to play any of their striking veterans for that weekend’s games because they had not reported by 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 14. At the same time, the teams agreed to play replacement players who signed as late as 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 17 for that Sunday’s games. The NFLPA then filed unfair labor charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on the ground that the NFL’s policy discriminated against those players who had exercised their right to strike and were deprived of a portion of their annual salary due to the clubs’ refusal to let them play.