This afternoon at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, the The Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman will announce “increased protections against discrimination for Major League Baseball players and recruits,” according to a press release sent via email. No word yet on the extent of these policies or if they are trans-inclusive.
“Under the new policy, the league will create a workplace code of conduct and distribute it to every major league and minor league player. It also will provide new training sessions and create a centralized complaint system to report any harassment and discrimination,” the San Jose Mercury News reports:
“Just making people aware,” Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Monday night while the American League took batting practice. “I think that’s part of the reason, if they’re going to do that, that’s why they would do it. Just put it out there and kind of be ahead of it instead of behind it.”
“I think it’s already out there. I think what’s happened in basketball and all this stuff, it’s better just to get out there and be ready for it,” he said.
The announcement follows Schneiderman’s agreement this year with the National Football League to strengthen its policies. Some NFL prospects complained about questions they said were posed to them during the evaluation and hiring system called the NFL combine. The case prompted a look at harassment and discrimination policies in other sports.
— Eric Schneiderman (@AGSchneiderman) July 16, 2013
Over at Think Progress, Travis Waldron notes:
This isn’t just about baseball — it’s further evidence of a major shift in sports. The NFL, NBA, and MLB have all added sexual orientation to their non-discrimination policies, and the NHL has partnered with the You Can Play Project to advocate for LGBT equality at all levels of sports. Athletes like Collins, Rogers, Brittney Griner have all been largely welcomed by their teammates, leagues, and fans, and straight players like Brendan Ayanbadejo and players’ unions are out front in advocating for equality both inside and outside sports. That has bled all the way to apparel companies like Nike, which is now producing a line of shoes and clothes promoting equality and endorsing athletes like Griner to model men’s clothing and take the brand directly to a community that sports largely ignored just a few years ago. The world of sports spent a long time lagging behind the larger LGBT equality movement, but through efforts like these, it isn’t only catching up but is trying to take the leadership role it always could have had.
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