Major League Baseball also to add protection for ‘sexual orientation’ to CBA
The New York Daily News is reporting that ‘sexual orientation’ protection will be added to the discrimination clause of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to this week by Major League Baseball and the MLB Player’s Association.
The NY Daily News notes that this follows the NFL which also did so earlier this year (and if my breaking the NFL story had any part in pressuring the MLB to do the same, my job here has been successful), but that the provision was readily agreed upon by both the MLBPA and MLB negotiators.
Tico Almeida, President of Freedom to Work, has been keeping me abreast of this development in the MLB (thankfully, because my school schedule gets more and more demanding by the day).
Almeida pointed out to me the importance of having these protections at the league level because so many teams (13 of the 30, to be exact) are in states that do not protect employees from anti-gay harassment, firing, or other forms of discrimination.
This is the note Almeida sent me:
“In a majority of states in our country, it is still perfectly legal to fire someone just for being gay, and 13 of the 30 Major League teams are located in those states that allow anti-gay firings,” said Tico Almeida, President of the LGBT organization Freedom to Work. “No player should have to fear harassment or workplace retaliation if he were to publicly come out as gay.”
American League teams in states that allow anti-gay firings, harassment, and other forms of discrimination:
1) Cleveland Indians (Ohio)
2) Detroit Tigers (Michigan)
3) Kansas City Royals (Missouri)
4) Tampa Bay Rays (Florida)
5) Texas Rangers (Texas)
National League teams in states that allow anti-gay firings, harassment, and other forms of discrimination:
6) Arizona Diamondbacks (Arizona)
7) Atlanta Braves (Georgia)
8) Cincinnati Reds (Ohio)
9) Florida/Miami Marlins (Florida)
10) Houston Astros (Texas)
11) Philadelphia Phillies (Pennsylvania)
12) Pittsburgh Pirates (Pennsylvania)
13) St. Louis Cardinals (Missouri)
Thus, with the addition of the language in the CBA, players on those teams would now have at least some protection (and I assume some remedy defined in the CBA) that otherwise would not have existed.
Another step forward!
By my count, now the NFL, MLB, NHL, and MLS will all have this provision. And I would assume, if the NBA lockout ever ends, a similar provision will be added to that league’s CBA as well.
[EDIT:] Another person who must be thanked in this process is Rafael McDonnell of the Resource Center Dallas. On October 31, 2011, McDonnell and RCD sent this letter to Major League Baseball encouraging them to follow the NFL in making this change to the CBA.
The McDonnell/RCD letter was well-received by the MLB offices as shown by the responses from:
(1) MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, which stated, “Your letter is very constructive and I appreciate your taking the time to write me.” and from
(2) Robert Manfred, Executive VP of Labor and Human Resources of MLB, who wrote, “While it is my policy not to comment on matters currently on the table, I think it is safe to say the issue you have raised will be addressed in a positive way.”