The National Basketball Association has reached an agreement with its players’ union to cut salaries by 25 percent beginning May 15 as the coronavirus continues to keep sports sidelined, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who cited the terms announced Friday.
Players will receive their full paychecks on May 1, followed by a gradual reduction in pay if the league is forced to cancel the regular season and invoke a force majeure clause, which would excuse its contractual obligations in 2019-2020 due to the unforeseen circumstances of the outbreak.
ESPN Sources: The NBA and NBPA have agreed on the withholding of 25 percent of each player paycheck beginning on May 15. Deal gives gradual reduction in salary should Force Majeure provision be enacted with cancellation of regular season games. May 1 checks will be paid in full.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 17, 2020
As the indefinite national lockdown continues, players are facing losing a lot of money. In earlier negotiations with the NBA Player's Association, the league proposed a 50 percent salary reduction.
Three weeks ago, the NBA also cut the base salaries of its executives by 20 percent for the foreseeable future, affecting roughly 100 of the league's highest earners, including commissioner Adam Silver and deputy commissioner Mark Tatum.
“These are unprecedented times and, like other companies across all industries, we need to take short-term steps to deal with the harsh economic impact on our business and organization,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said at the time.
The NHL and NASCAR have also cut salaries while games and large gatherings are prohibited during the lockdown.
The NBA suspended its season March 11 after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19 just prior to a game that also had to be canceled. It was the same day that the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic. The Hawks had just 15 games left to play in the regular season.
At the time, the league issued a statement saying the NBA “will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”
Before one of its own players was diagnosed with the virus, the NBA had considered playing games without fans in attendance.
There is some optimism that the season will be able to resume in the summer.
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