WASHINGTON — The National Football League’s top executive said Tuesday that he and NFL owners will ask a federal judge to prevent Georgia from publicly releasing court transcripts of a hearing Thursday in which the NFL’s legal team presented its arguments to U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan.
The NFL’s attorneys in the case, representing its players, said that the transcripts should be made public so that people can judge the evidence before a jury, and that they would not challenge the timing of the release.
The NFL and its lawyers say they believe that releasing the transcripts would interfere with the pending lawsuit against the league by players who want to seek compensation for injuries suffered in the 2016 season.
The hearing, which is scheduled to last about a week, is expected to begin at 11 a.m.
Thursday in U.C.L.A. Judge Emmett R. Sullivan, a Democrat, granted the NFL a temporary restraining order on the transcripts, which are scheduled to be released Monday.
The transcript is to be used to evaluate the NFL Players Association’s proposed class-action lawsuit, which accuses the NFL of retaliating against former players for speaking out against the use of concussions during the 2016-17 season.
Sullivan said that it is too soon to determine the significance of the NFLPA’s proposal to class-suit the NFL.
The lawsuit is being brought by former players Michael Sam and LaMarr Woodley and two former team physicians, Dr. Michael O’Brien and Dr. Andrew Kolodziejewski.
Sam, a former Green Bay Packers defensive lineman, was suspended for four games by the NFL in February after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct for hitting an opposing player during a game in March.
The league suspended Woodley for four regular-season games and fined him $50,000.
The players and the league have been trying to convince the judge to bar the release of the transcripts.
The two sides have been negotiating the release date, which could be as soon as this week.
A hearing in the lawsuit was scheduled for May 21, but that date has been moved back to April 23.
Sullivan denied the request to block the release, saying that releasing such documents is not a matter of public interest.
The transcript of Thursday’s hearing, conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, will be made available to the public and to the media, Sullivan wrote in a letter to NFL owners, which was obtained by ESPN.
He said that players, including Sam and Woodley, have repeatedly expressed their desire for the transcripts to be made publicly available.
The attorneys have also asked Sullivan to limit the disclosure of the transcript to a handful of players.
The court has previously said that its orders do not apply to public records.
The league is seeking damages in excess of $150 million from the NFL and the NFLP for its failure to protect players and protect the league from possible civil penalties.
The players have also sued the league and the union for violating the players’ right to privacy.