More than 100 Major League Baseball players are pledging a day’s salary on Jackie Robinson Day to The Players Alliance.
The Players Alliance, which is made up of current and former MLB players dedicated to improving Black representation in baseball, announced the initiative on Monday (April 12). A full list of players making donations has not yet been revealed but David Price, Jason Heyward and Jackie Bradley Jr. are participating. Last year, players also donated their salaries to the initiative, which the Players Alliance reports raised over $1 million.
According to Yahoo! Sports, interest in baseball in Black communities – particularly in inner cities – has declined over the years.
LaVonté Steward, whose Lost Boyz organization puts youth baseball and softball programs together in underserved neighborhoods in Chicago, spoke with Yahoo! Sports back in December about the challenges baseball faces in appealing to Black Americans.
“I think the message that gets lost in the conversation, which then becomes an argument about race, is about the monetization of youth baseball which has now become a multibillion-dollar industry,” he told the outlet.
“When it comes to Black people, we are blocked out of most of the economic activity that surrounds the game whether it be in it or the supporting businesses and things that benefit from it. Where is our ownership in that?”
Today (April 15) is Jackie Robinson Day, which celebrates the extraordinary life of the man who integrated baseball when played for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The money raised will go toward providing equipment, in addition to mentorship and scholarship access in Black communities.