MLB commits up to $150M US to Players Alliance in effort to increase Black representation

Major League Baseball will give at least $100 million US over 10 years to the Players Alliance and help raise an additional $50 million US aimed at increasing the number of Blacks playing the sport and eventually making the big leagues.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the decision before Monday night’s All-Star Home Run Derby, saying it would be the sport’s largest charitable commitment.

“We want young people — period — playing the game, particularly young people of colour,” Manfred said at a Coors Field news conference.

Manfred was joined by Bo Bichette, Corbin Burnes, Josh Hader, Tim Anderson, Mark Melancon, Alex Reyes, Marcus Semien, Taijuan Walker and Zack Wheeler; former players Curtis Granderson, Dave Roberts, CC Sabathia and Reggie Smith; and Colorado Rockies owner Dick Montfort and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Mark Walter.

Previous commitment

The Players Alliance was launched last year, and MLB and the Major League Players Association announced a $10 million US commitment last September. In addition, 500 players donated all or a portion of their salaries on April 15, Jackie Robinson Day.

MLB said it will give $10 million US annually starting in 2023 plus obtain $5 million US in yearly matching contributions from Players Alliance fundraising.

Twenty-four major leaguers participated in a program with 150 children Monday.

“This is about getting kids that maybe wouldn’t be able to play baseball, the opportunity to play baseball,” Montfort said. “This was a big ask for owners to give up this money, even though it comes from central baseball. Central baseball is owned by the 30 clubs.”