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 #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
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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