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Professional North American sports leagues are not immune to intense labor disputes between billionaire owners and millionaire athletes. In contrast to its major counterparts in Football and Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the premiere professional basketball league in the world, has cultivated a reputation as being mostly “player-friendly” over the last several years. Aside from the apparent economic gains that have come with improved labor relations, the NBA has been at the forefront of addressing the mental health concerns of its athletes. This issue had been previously ignored or diminished in cultural and professional settings. High-profile players have openly detailed their mental health struggles, and Commissioner Adam Silver has publicly addressed concerns of “player unhappiness.” In response, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, the NBA has attempted to integrate mental health programs and wellness initiatives into its professional itinerary. Despite this momentum, or perhaps in light of it, the NBA will soon face its most challenging confrontation with players' mental health.

This post was originally published on the Cardozo International & Comparative Law Review on April 27, 2022. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.

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