Labor Day 2020 And All Is Well Except In Major League Baseball

The state of the American big-league sports world.

It is Labor Day in the United States and in Canada so it is a good time to examine the state of labor in Major League sports in both countries. The only reason sports leagues were able to get back into action during the COVID-19 pandemic was due to temporary labor deals reached between league owners and players in the United States-based sports leagues. The Canadian Football League cancelled its season as league owners could not reach an agreement with Canadian political leaders for a loan to help them in the pandemic and were unable to get a deal with the players. Going forward assuming COVID-19 is contained and there is an effective vaccine along with treatments, the National Hockey League owners and players are fine as they have a new six-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. The CBA paved the way for the NHL to stage this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. The NHL owners will allow players to participate in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, if there is an Olympics because there is no guarantee that COVID-19 will be contained by February 2022. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics was postponed until 2021 by COVID-19. The owners and players have agreed to a money deal but it will be impacted by the economic recovery from COVID-19. Major League Soccer owners and players have a pact until 2024 with both sides financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in that less money is available.

Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association have expiring deals. There is no problem in the NBA until 2023. Major League Baseball owners and players signed a labor deal in 2016. There was an era of good feeling between the two sides and that has come to an end. The present CBA is done after the 2021 season. The NFL owners and players signed a new 11-year CBA in March.  It’s just sports business, nothing personal.

(Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)