By Michael Lewis Editor

The National Basketball Players Association Wednesday issued a statement that is stands “in solidarity” with the Major League Soccer Players Association.

The MLSPA is involved in contentious negotiations with MLS over the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and has threatened a lockout Thursday, Feb. 4.

Here is the NBPA statement:

“The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) has been made aware of the lockout threatened by Major League Soccer in collective bargaining with the Major League Soccer Players Association (MLSPA). The NBPA stands in solidarity with their union brethren in the MLSPA.

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be the greatest public health crisis that our nation 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 this sport to date. The NBPA, together with soccer fans throughout the world, look forward to the scheduled opening day for the 2021 MLS season. Let the Players play.”

On Jan. 29, MLS said that if a new CBA was not finalized by 11:59 p.m. ET Feb. 4, the MLS Labor Committee has voted unanimously to authorize the league to end the CBA and “institute a lockout.”

On Dec. 29, MLS invoked a force majeure clause on the CBA. The league claimed it had lost almost $1 billion in 2020, with some $725 due to the pandemic.