MLSPA furious as MLS invokes force majeure clause in CBA

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Major League Soccer’s collective bargaining agreement is in serious trouble after the league invoked the Force Majeure clause in their collective bargaining agreement

If the league and the Major League Soccer Players Association cannot come to an agreement inside of a 30-day renegotiating window, the CBA could be terminated. The league and PA agreed a new CBA in February.

MLS vice president Mark Abbott told ESPN that the decision is due to the likelihood of low or no crowds next season due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Abbott says that the league “will engage in good-faith discussions with our players about ways to manage the significant economic issues we are facing.”

The MLSPA responded with vigor in a press release:

Today, less than one week after players completed the most challenging season in MLS history, the league notified the Major League Soccer Players Association that it intends to invoke the Force Majeure clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. 

This action sets in motion a process that could result in the league and its owners abandoning the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement and commitments made to players for the second time in less than nine months.  It comes in advance of any negotiations and at a time when many players are enjoying time away with their loved ones for the first time in almost a year.

After a 2020 season of extreme sacrifice, immeasurable risk to personal health, and a remarkable league-wide effort to successfully return to play, this tone-deaf action by the league discredits the previous sacrifices made by players and the enormous challenges they overcame in 2020.