MLB donating $150M to increase Black participation in baseball
MLB announced its donating $150 million to help increase Black participation in the sport.
In a press conference prior to the All-Star Game Tuesday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred shared that the league is partnering with the nonprofit organization Players Alliance on this new commitment.
— ThePlayersAlliance (@Player_Alliance) July 13, 2021
The new initiative is aimed to increase Black youth participation in the sport, including through funding leagues, equipment and tournaments, and to increase the the number of Black employees and contractors through recruitment programs and professional development for players transitioning to managerial, coaching and front-office positions in the league, according to MLB.com.
The partnership will also help promote Jackie Robinson and the Negro League and establish player-led mentorship programs, Black cultural awareness camps and educational grants and scholarships opportunities as well, MLB.com reported.
“From our perspective, [having] players alongside and involved makes everything we do better and more effective,” Manfred said in the press conference. “In terms of the attention it draws to the game and to the issues, it’s really important to us. We see this as a supplement to what we’re doing already, and a way to amplify what we’re doing, not a substitute for it.”
This comes as the league is currently comprised of 8 percent Black players, which is down from a previous high of 19 percent in the early 1980s, The New York Times reported.
Curtis Granderson, a former All-Star outfielder and the founder and president of The Players Alliance, called this new initiative a “big step moving forward,” adding this will help the league continue to grow in the future.
“All of this is possible because of the players in this game that want to see the game continue to get better and strive in directions that we all know that it can be,” Granderson said in the MLB.com report.
Last night, @Player_Alliance launched AMPLIFIED at All-Star in Five Points, Denver. This new event series aims to amplify Black voices both in our game and in our communities. Thanks to Commissioner Manfred and @MLB for their support as our Presenting Sponsor. pic.twitter.com/hIW9qyyqqO
— Curtis Granderson (@cgrand3) July 11, 2021