The NWSL and the Player’s Association agreed on the league’s first ever collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in February. The CBA was signed by new commissioner Jessica Berman and NWSLPA executive Director Meghann Burke live on television during Angel City’s home opener.
This week, the CBA was finally released to the public. So, here’s a not-so-deep dive of key takeaways:
1. Players can now negotiate a no-trade clause in their standard player contract. This means more player autonomy on where they go and who they play for. Until now, NWSL players took issue with being traded with little warning to locations they did not want to play in. This is a big win for the athletes.
2. An All-Star Game? Ok, so it doesn’t exist YET, but the new CBA contemplates an All-Star Event with at least 18 players per team and All-Star bonuses. We’d like to file this under “things we’d love to see.”
3. REAL CASH MONEY BONUSES. Dollar dollar bills, y’all. In the past, the NWSL became infamous in the bonus department —see Bethany Balcer’s $50 gift card to Chipotle from the NWSLPA for winning Rookie of the Year in 2019. In 2022, the Rookie of the Year (as well as the Golden Boot winner, MVP, Defender of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year and Best 11 award recipients) will rake in a $5,000 bonus for their star efforts.
4. No skydiving allowed. We totally understand this “no hazardous activity” section but honestly, a total buzzkill to the thrill-seeking NWSL players.
5. Mental Health leave. This is so important. The CBA provides up to six months of mental health leave for a player whose doctor recommends they take a leave due to a mental health diagnosis. This protection will hopefully encourage players to feel secure addressing their mental health needs.