Major League Baseball has pledged up to $150 million over ten years to the Players Alliance in support of programs built around participation in baseball, mentorship, and professional baseball employee development, MLB.com reports.
Starting in 2023, MLB will provide $10 million annually, plus up to an additional $5 million in matching contributions from external Players Alliance fundraising in support of numerous initiatives, including those that celebrate Black baseball history and culture, educational grants, and service opportunities in communities. The funding will support programs aimed at increasing the participation of Black youth and young adults in baseball; boosting the number of Black employees and contractors in all positions and at all levels associated with professional baseball, such as funding for education and training, counseling, internship programs, and recruitment programs; and promoting and supporting Jackie Robinson Day, appreciation days for the Negro Leagues, and other activities that celebrate and encourage Black participation in baseball and in the business of baseball.
Announced during events surrounding baseball's All-Star Game, the commitment will support a players-led mentorship program determined and developed by the Players Alliance; Black cultural awareness, camps, and other programs designed to increase participation in the sport and eliminate barriers to such participation; programs to support baseball in public schools and city schools; and educational grants, scholarships, and additional community services to the Black community.
"From our perspective, [having] players alongside and involved makes everything we do better and more effective," said MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. "In terms of the attention it draws to the game and to the issues, it's really important to us. We see this as a supplement to what we're doing already, and a way to amplify what we're doing, not a substitute for it."
"All of this is possible because of the players in this game that want to see the game continue to get better and strive in directions that we all know that it can be," said Curtis Granderson, a former all-star and the president of the Players Alliance. "This is a big step moving forward. This is going to allow us to continue to keep doing all the things that we said we're going to do, that we've already been doing. And we are hopefully going to continue to do more things as we build from this moment on."