MLB Franchise Will Give Minor Leaguers a 50% Raise
By Ken Reed
For decades, minor league baseball players have been economically abused by their Major League parents. Based on the number of hours they put in, minor leaguers often work for less than the minimum wage at the lower levels of teams’ farm systems.
Moreover, minor leaguers don’t get paid during long — sometimes up to 12 hours — spring training days. They also don’t get paid in the offseason. Some make as little as $1100/month for a five-month season. (Of course, the expectation is they will put in long hours working on their games in the offseason.) It’s a common practice for lower-level minor league players to share two-bedroom apartments with six or seven roommates in order to make their meager salaries last a little longer.
The Toronto Blue Jays are doing something about this economic injustice. The American League team is going to give their minor leaguers a 50% raise.
The Blue Jays move bucks a long history of Major League franchises working to keep minor league salaries at a bare minimum. Major League franchises have consistently fought efforts by minor leaguers to improve their pay and working conditions. In fact, big league owners successfully lobbied Congress to pass the Save America’s Pastime Act, which stripped minor leaguers of the protection of federal minimum wage laws.
“We just feel like it’s consistent with our values of trying to be a player-centered organization and give them every resource possible to be at their best,” said Ben Cherington, Toronto’s vice president of baseball operations.
Whoever your favorite MLB baseball team might be, you now have another team to cheer for: the Toronto Blue Jays. Let’s hope the Blue Jays’ action is followed by similar moves by other MLB franchises.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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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.
- Reed Appears on Ralph Nader Radio Hour League of Fans’ sports policy director, Ken Reed, Ralph Nader and the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner discussed a variety of sports issues on Nader’s radio show as well as Reed’s updated book, How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan. Reed's book was released in paperback in February, and has a new introduction and several updated sections.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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