Steelers players vote to decertify

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers players have voted to give the NFL Players Association their backing to decertify the union in the event of a labor lockout next year.

The Steelers are at least the 10th group of players to vote to decertify if necessary, joining players from the Packers, Bengals, Bills, Colts, Cowboys, Saints, Eagles, Redskins and Giants. The vote, with no apparent dissenters, occurred during an hour-long meeting with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith that followed practice Wednesday.

By disbanding their union, the players could sue the NFL under antitrust laws if there is a lockout. A similar move following a 1987 labor impasse led to the 1993 agreement that created free agency.