MINNEAPOLIS (AP)  The unions for hockey, baseball and basketball are siding with the players in the NFL lockout court battle, saying the league’s lockout should be lifted.

The players associations for MLB, the NHL and the NBA filed a brief Friday in a federal appeals court, saying the case presents “vitally important issues” for the unions and their members. The unions say professional athletes’ careers are short, and the loss of even part of a season causes personal and professional injures that can’t be compensated.

That reiterates the NFL players’ argument that the lockout is causing them irreparable harm. A federal judge in Minnesota agreed with and lifted it last month, but the league appealed.

The appeals court ruled Monday the lockout can stay in place until the court hears a full appeal on whether it is legal. Attorneys for the players are expected to file briefs later Friday, in advance of an appeals court hearing June 3.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)