The NBA players’ union is bracing itself for a potential pay freeze due to the existence of the force majeure event clause.
The league is on hiatus for at least 30 days, but the expectation is that the break could extend well beyond that. As a result, the league is going to lose a lot of money.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, this could mean that NBA players don’t get paid. The force majeure event clause is a clause in the collective bargaining agreement that would let owners off the hook for a percentage of each player’s salary. This type of clause can only be invoked during a worst-case scenario and the coronavirus falls under that umbrella.
The NBPA has notified players of this possibility, but there is no indication that the owners are planning to invoke the clause.
“Sources say there’s been no discussion among the league and NBPA about triggering that provision — especially because there remains hope that the season can be resumed with completion of a postseason that could be pushed back into midsummer,” wrote Wojnarowski.
“In the email, the union told players that there had been no discussion with the league on the provision.”
Despite the fact that the owners have not indicated that the force majeure event clause will come into play, it’s understandable that some players might feel uneasy at this time. Shutting everything down is going to hurt the NBA’s bottom line and that’s going to trickle down.
Thankfully, many owners are already stepping up and vowing to provide some relief for the stadium staff who will lose wages during the work stoppage.