MLB, MLBPA commit $10M to improve representation of Black Americans in baseball

Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark. (Nathan Denette/CP)

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, in partnership with The Players Alliance, have committed $10 million to "to help fund innovative programs designed by The Players Alliance to improve representation of Black Americans in all levels of baseball."

The money will be used to improve access to all areas of the sport, including at the youth level and front office careers.

“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 Curtis Granderson, former MLB player and President of The Players Alliance, in a statement.

“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 grants will be delivered annually through 2024 and go towards programs focused on the following objectives, according to a statement.

• Offer Player-led mentorship

• Increase participation in baseball among Black youth and young adults through efforts that include funding 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 the sport

• Increase Black business partnerships as well as employment at all levels of professional baseball by funding education, training, counselling, and internship and recruitment programs

• Support baseball programs in public schools and community centres

• Provide grants, scholarships and community services to various segments of the Black community

“Major League Baseball is committed to enacting positive changes within our sport to mirror those we hope to see in society,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “We believe that the efforts led by The Players Alliance will complement existing diversity initiatives and accelerate progress that will be beneficial for our game.”

The Players Alliance features more than 100 active and former professional baseball players and was founded in June to specifically create platforms and opportunities for the Black community in baseball and society.

“Recent events and social unrest have profoundly crystallized the need for prescriptive programs and additional education designed to enhance Black participation at all levels of baseball for the betterment of our game as well as society,” MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark said in a statement.

“We look forward to working with The Players Alliance and MLB to make lasting changes and to have a substantive impact in this important area.”

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