By Ken Reed
Very few people realize that the wages of minor league baseball players often fall below those of most fast-food restaurant workers.
News from this baseball off-season has focused on the numerous $100 million and $200 million contracts Major League Baseball stars have signed.
The flip side is that the approximately 6,000 non-unionized baseball players in the minor leagues are often asked to get by on $800 to $2,000 per month, resulting in annual incomes below the U.S. federal poverty line.
According to a lawsuit filed by minor league baseball players — a lawsuit that now has class-action status — the minor league players’ hourly wage often amounts to less than the U.S. federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
More than 500 former and current players have added their name to the lawsuit. The suit isn’t scheduled to go to court until February 2017, at which time the lawsuit is expected to have upwards of 1,000 players signed on.
“This is a problem that’s a long time in the making,” said Garrett Brosius, a former minor league baseball player who is now the lawyer handling the case for the players. “This practice has been going on for decades.”
A specific amount of damages has not yet been established, according to Broshuis. He said the primary goal of the lawsuit is to make a permanent change to how minor-league players are compensated.
“This lawsuit isn’t going to make guys rich,” said Brosius.
“It’s just going to impose the minimum wage and overtime laws that all other companies in the United States have to comply with. Our goal is to change things for the future guys and to also help out as many guys in the past as possible as well.”
Congratulations to Brosius for making progress on a cause that’s been too long neglected.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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