In what has been the largest financial commitment in its history, Major League Baseball has pledged $150 million to the Players Alliance to improve its investment in Black players and professionals across the game over a ten year period.
The money will go to a variety of programs built around participation in baseball, mentorship and professional baseball employee development. In addition, the funding will include initiatives that celebrate Black baseball history and culture, educational grants and service opportunities to communities.
“Major League Baseball’s commitment to support the Players Alliance is a monumental turning point in the history of our game, establishing a pathway to progress for equity and access for the Black community,”
said former All-Star Curtis Granderson, who now serves as president of the Players Alliance.
“Major League Baseball is thrilled to expand our commitment to the Players Alliance, which will include joint efforts to strengthen our sport’s engagement with Black communities,” said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.
“The relationship grew because we were united behind two really fundamental goals. First of all, we all wanted to see more young people of color playing our game. We want young people period playing the game, but particularly young people of color. Secondly, we all know that we need more diversity in our game. Not just on the field, but everywhere — front offices, Commissioners Office, everywhere. Those two goals continue to bring these two groups together.”
To that end, starting in 2023, MLB will provide $10 million annually—with an additional $5 million in matching contributions from external Players Alliance fundraising— to programs aimed at increasing the participation of Black youth and young adults in baseball as well as programs designed to attempt to increase the number of Black employees and contractors in all positions and at all levels associated with professional baseball.
Monies will also fund programs in support of Jackie Robinson Day; appreciation days for the Negro Leagues; Black participation in the business of baseball; programs to support baseball in city schools; and programs designed to eliminate barriers to participation in the sport for Black youth.
Educational grants, scholarships and additional community services to the Black community are also being incorporated into the program.