As sports leagues around the country try to fight racial injustice, the MLB has stepped up.
In a partnership with The Players Alliance, a nonprofit organization made up of active and retired players, the league and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) have committed $10 million to help fund innovative programs designed by The Players Alliance to get Black Americans more interested in baseball on all levels. If you’ve ever watched a baseball game, you will notice that unlike other leagues like the NFL and NBA, you don’t see many Black faces, but now the MLB wants to change that.
The league plans on doing this by improving access to the sport and even make sure there are more Black people in the front office– they’ve even got a list of actionable items to get the job done.
- Establish player-led mentorship
- Increase participation in baseball among Black youth and young adults via individual leagues, equipment donations, special tournaments, clinics, and playground activities
- Support Black cultural education, camps, and other programs designed to build pipelines and eliminate barriers to baseball participation
- Increase Black business partnerships as well as employment at all levels of professional baseball by funding education, training, counseling, and internship and recruitment programs
- Support baseball programs in public schools and community centers
- Provide grants, scholarships, and community services to various segments of the Black community
- Support related MLB and MLBPA programs
Curtis Granderson –who played for the Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, among others –is the president of the Players Alliance and is happy to finally increase diversity in the sport.
“As the stark racial minority in all aspects of our game, The Players Alliance has given a voice and platform to our Black players, unified in our stance against systemic racism,” said Granderson. “We stand together for what is right and to change our game for the better. The power of our player membership, including our non-Black teammates, coupled with the support of MLB and the Players Association, gives us the unique ability to create increased opportunities for the Black communities we care so much about.”
The Players Alliance has been making major moves since June as they push for diversity, including a Baseball Mentorship Program, making sure Black communities around the country have baseball equipment and program for internships, scholarships, and student employment to get people interested in front office jobs young.