Major League Baseball and the Players Association jointly committed $10 million to The Players Alliance on Monday to help boost the participation of Black Americans in all levels of the sport.
The Players Alliance, a nonprofit organization comprised of active and former players, will use the money to fund annual grants through 2024 to improve access to the sport from the youth level all the way to MLB front offices.
“Major League Baseball is committed to enacting positive changes within our sport to mirror those we hope to see in society,” commissioner Rob Manfred said in a news release. “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.”
Former player Curtis Granderson, president of The Players Alliance, said his organization is “unified in our stance against systemic racism.”
“We stand together for what is right and to change our game for the better,” Granderson said in a statement. “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 Association said its mission includes:
–Increasing participation in baseball among Black youth and young adults through efforts that include funding individual leagues, equipment donations, special tournaments, clinics and playground activities.
–Supporting Black cultural education, camps and other programs designed to build pipelines and eliminate barriers to the sport.
–Increasing Black business partnerships as well as employment at all levels of professional baseball by funding education, training, counseling and internship and recruitment programs.
–Supporting baseball programs in public schools and community centers.
–Providing grants, scholarships and community services to various segments of the Black community.
Launched in June in the wake of nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, The Players Association is made up of more than 100 active and former players.
“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. “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.”
–Field Level Media