Michele Roberts spoke with Mark Medina of the USA Today about several important issues facing the National Basketball Players Association amid COVID-19.
“If you look at our CBA, there is some troubling language if you are a player," said Roberts. "I’m a lawyer by training and the concept of a ‘force majeure’ is common in any contract. ... No matter what differences we may have in the league in the past or going forward, we’re actively on the same page about trying to save our season and trying to save our playoffs. ...
"The revenue consequences are significant. Sure, there is language that allows the league to enforce what they perceive to be a ‘force majeure’ and that would have an impact on compensation for players going forward. But if it happens, there would be a recognition the league is prepared to lose tens of millions of dollars. If we can’t play games or we can’t have our playoffs, we’re going to have an economic hit.”
Roberts was asked whether conversations with the league have been more about salving the season and then figuring out addressing any potential clauses at a later date.
“That’s right on the money. We want to play games and we want to do it in a way that’s safe. ...It’s very difficult to say by ‘X date,’ we’re going to resume the games. That would be foolish. But we’re not throwing in the towel.”