Major League Soccer has fined Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen for discussing the state of the league's CBA negotiations with the MLS Players' Union, the league announced on Friday.
"The comments made by Mr. Hansen are not permitted under the League’s Constitution," MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. "We are engaged in constructive negotiations with our players and such comments are not appropriate nor helpful to the negotiations.”
The fine's amount was not disclosed by the league, but according to SI.com's Brian Straus, team and league employees were warned that anyone who made public comments about the CBA was to be fined $250,000.
Negotiations between the league and the MLS Players' Union have come down to the wire, with the primary sticking point being the players' pursuit of free agency, a mechanism the league does not employ and has been unwilling to concede to the players in past CBA negotiations.
The comments that earned Hansen the fine directly addressed the players' free agency pursuit, as the Real Salt Lake owner called the issue a "waste of time" and more in a Wednesday interview with ESPN 700:
How do you have free agency when you're going to go talk to yourself at the next employer? And so, that's not going to change. That's a go-nowhere conversation. When you look at all the owners, they've all been in pro basketball, football, baseball, and that was the one thing they all vowed they'd never do is go through that again.
The CBA negotiations are going down to the wire, with the MLS season slated to open with the Chicago Fire's visit to the Los Angeles Galaxy a week from today.