Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association committed $10 million to help fund programs from The Players Alliance, made up of more than 100 active and former MLB players, aimed to increase Black American participation in all levels of baseball.
"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 former outfielder Curtis Granderson, president of The Players Alliance. "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."
Through the programs, The Players Alliance will receive grants, delivered annually through 2024, for programs meant to increase player-led mentorship; raise participation in baseball among Black youth and young adults through the funding of leagues, equipment donations and tournaments; offer Black cultural education, camps and programs aimed to break down barriers to baseball; increase Black business partnerships; support baseball programs in public schools; and provide grants, scholarships and community services to the Black community. The Players Alliance will also support programs from MLB and the players' association.
"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."
Alongside the leadership of Granderson, The Players Alliance has former major leaguers such as CC Sabathia and Edwin Jackson on the board of directors, with the active player advisory board including Tim Anderson, Dexter Fowler, Dee Gordon, Jason Heyward, Aaron Hicks, Cameron Maybin and Andrew McCutchen.
"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."