By Ken Reed
Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Major League Baseball’s petition to challenge the validity of a lawsuit brought against Major League Baseball by Aaron Senne and other Minor League Baseball players over Minor League player salaries. As such, the six-year-old class-action lawsuit can finally move forward.
The lawsuit claims minor leaguers are paid poverty wages, below what’s required by minimum wage laws.
“We’re seeking just to apply your basic minimum wage laws, the same ones that Walmart and McDonald’s comply with,” said Garrett Broshuis, a former Minor League player and now an attorney with the law firm Korein Tillery.
“Every other company out there can do it, then MLB can do it as well. … [H]opefully sometime soon players will be treated with the respect that they deserve and will at some point finally be paid wages that will allow them to live at levels above the poverty level.”
Given the huge salaries players at the Major League level enjoy, most people have no idea how poorly compensated minor league baseball players are. From an economic perspective, the lifestyles of Minor League players have very little in common with Major League players. A large percentage of minor league baseball players have annual incomes that place them below the U.S. poverty line based on their typical 60-hour workweeks.
It’s a perfect situation for economic exploitation: powerful Major League baseball owners, operating a self-regulated monopoly, who control the Minor League system and determine what to pay minor league players; a large supply of young aspiring baseball players in high school and college passionately chasing their Major League dreams; and the lack of a Minor League players union to protect the players’ interests.
A trial in the case is now expected to be scheduled in 2021.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
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Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
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.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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