Nov 23, 2011, 11:34 AM EST
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.”
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