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MLB’s new collective bargaining agreement includes a sexual orientation clause

Nov 23, 2011, 11:34 AM EDT


You may have seen that Major League Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement (ha, take that, NBA) includes provisions that would grandfather out maple bats and improve batting helmets (if you call this an improvement). But you may not have seen that it also has added sexual orientation to its language regarding discrimination.

Via the New York Daily News:

Article XV, Section A of MLB’s expiring Basic Agreement, in effect from 2006-2011, states: “The provisions of this Agreement shall be applied to all Players covered by this Agreement without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.”

In the new agreement, the words “sexual orientation” were added to Article XV. Michael Weiner, the union’s executive director, said that the decision was not motivated by requests from his membership, but by “the lawyers on both sides just recognizing that it should be there.”

First we got stricter HGH testing, and now this? Could it be that MLB is close to becoming a competently-run organization?

Former Oakland A’s GM Billy Bean:

“I don’t know if legislation is going to provide the safety and security that players need,” Bean said. “If you’re a distraction, you’re going to be removed one way or another. They’ll find a way.

“If you’re a marginal player, you fear losing your job at any moment. If you’re a young baseball player who just happens to be gay, you might feel safer keeping it to yourself.”

Although the gay community has not yet seen its Jackie Robinson moment, many events this year in and out of sports have represented incremental progress. The National Football League also included “sexual orientation” in its CBA this year.

Make no mistake, we’re a long way, IMO, from having an openly-gay MLB player. But as a great, deranged man said in What About Bob?, “Baby steps, Dr. Marvin.”

  1. ezwriter69 - Nov 24, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    Bullbleep. In Glenn Burke, baseball already had an openly gay player. Bean didn’t have the guts to come out, but Burke did. Everyone on his team knew, and in fact, on the Dodgers it wasn’t an issue… until he hooked up with Tommy Lasorda’s gay son, who of course Lasorda insists to this day isn’t gay. He was shipped to the A’s, where Billy Martin called him the F word in front ot the whole team the day he arrived and made his life holy hell… needless to say his career didn’t last long after that, a knee injury gave him a good excuse to cut him and no one else would take the now VERY well known risk of hiring him. But make no mistake, everyone in baseball knew. It wasn’t publicized, the media if it knew didn’t make it an issue, but EVERYONE on the Dodgers and A’s knew, everyone in baseball knew. He didn’t flaunt it, but he didn’t hide it either. What the media wants is someone to make a spectacle of. To baseball’s and the media’s credit back in the day, the first openly gay player was run out of the game, but was NOT made that spectacle. Sadly (imo at least), that could never happen today.