By Michael Lewis
The National Basketball Players Association issued a statement on Wednesday in “solidarity” with the Major League Soccer Players Association.
The MLSPA is embroiled in controversial negotiations with the MLS over the league’s collective agreement and threatened a lockout on Thursday, February 4th.
Here is the NBPA statement:
“The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) has been made aware of the impending lockout of Major League Soccer in collective bargaining with the Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA). The NBPA stands in solidarity with its union brothers in the MLSPA.
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be the largest public health crisis our country has faced in several generations. Accordingly, it is and would be fundamentally unfair for the MLS to use this virus to disadvantage the players whose tireless efforts have built the sport so far. NBPA is looking forward to the planned opening day of the 2021 MLS season, along with football fans around the world. Let the players play. “
On January 29, MLS announced that the MLS Working Committee had unanimously decided to authorize the league to end the CBA and “initiate a lockout” if a new CBA is not completed by 11:59 p.m. ET on February 4th.
On December 29, MLS invoked a force majeure clause in the CBA. The league claimed it lost nearly $ 1 billion in 2020, including around $ 725 due to the pandemic.