The Players Alliance to donate salaries

August 27th, 2020

Members of The Players Alliance, a group of current and former Black players focused on issues of equality in Major League Baseball and the community, announced that they are donating their salaries from Thursday and Friday (Jackie Robinson Day) to, in the words of an official statement from organization, “combat racial inequality and aid Black families and communities deeply affected in the wake of recent events.”

Postponements of Major League games continued Thursday, as players from multiple teams — led by the Brewers on Wednesday — reacted to the weekend shooting by police of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wis., by choosing not to play their schedules games. The Players Alliance has added its dollars to the effort to support the cause of social justice.

“The color of our skin is the uniform we wear every day,” the group’s statement read. “We cannot change that. What we can change is the pain and injustice the Black community has suffered for far too long. We are determined to use our platform to speak out, and encourage our teammates and fans to help make our voices even louder.”

The Players Alliance has a roster of more than 100 current and former players. It was formed in an effort to effect change in baseball and beyond. The group aims to grow Black participation in the sport by reducing barriers for entry and creating mentoring opportunities. It also serves as a means of addressing societal issues collectively.

Former All-Stars Curtis Granderson, CC Sabathia and Edwin Jackson serve as the group’s president, vice president and secretary, respectively. Its active player advisory board includes White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler, Mariners infielder/outfielder Dee Gordon, Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward, Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks, Tigers outfielder Cameron Maybin and Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen.

Jackie Robinson Day, ordinarily held on April 15 to celebrate the anniversary of his monumental debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, was moved to Aug. 28 as part of MLB’s shortened 2020 season schedule. The date is significant because it was on that day in 1945 that Robinson met with Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey, who told him that he intended to make Robinson the face of baseball’s integration. The Players Alliance’s donation of that day’s salaries and the ongoing national conversation in a summer of unrest adds gravity to the occasion.

“We cannot stand idly by and wait for change -- in our game or in our country,” the statement continued. “We encourage our allies and fans to join us in taking action. With your support, we can and will rewrite our story, creating a more equal world we can all live in together.”

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