Manfred made the announcement flanked by Players Alliance President Curtis Granderson, Vice President CC Sabathia and Secretary Edwin Jackson, with a dozen or so all-stars attending in support. The group, created by outfielder Cameron Maybin in 2020, has emerged as a force in its year of existence, raising millions for outreach to Black communities and staging dozens of events across the country, even as the coronavirus pandemic shut the sport down.
Granderson thanked Manfred, the Colorado Rockies’ Dick Monfort and the rest of the owners for giving them “an opportunity to continue to keep expressing, to continue to keep showcasing, to continue to keep building what we ultimately want to see, and that’s to get a lot more kids of color access to this game, introduced to this game, playing this game, working in this game.”
According to MLB, the money will go to a variety of programs aimed at increasing Black participation in the sport through education, training, recruitment, and other pipeline programs. It also will go to efforts to support baseball in public schools and promote Black cultural awareness, a player-led mentorship program and scholarships.
“I will tell you that this was a big ask. 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,” said Monfort, one of a handful of owners on an advisory board for the Players Alliance. “But it was 100 percent unanimous.”