MLB Who Purportedly Wants More Black Players Silent on George Floyd

At one point, Major League Baseball moved itself away from the sport of Cap Anson to the sport of Jackie Robinson. With that breaking of the color barrier, MLB would see some of the greatest and most exciting players join the league to bring the game to an even higher level.

Despite MLB being the league to break the color barrier, the numbers of black players in the majors continue to dwindle. According to Forbes, only 7.7% of MLB players were black, and there were 11 teams without a black player.

Contrast that with the NFL and NBA. The Atlantic estimates 70% of the NFL is black. The New York Times estimates 80% of the NBA is black.

MLB is not ignorant of the issue. Rather, the league of Jackie Robinson seems upset by these dwindling numbers, and they’ve sought to institute programs like the RBI program to help get more black players to play the game.

At this point, it seems like MLB is paying lip service to this. One reason why is no matter how much they say they want more black players, the numbers keep dwindling. This just shows what they’re doing isn’t working, and we’re not seeing them pivot to other plans which may work better.

Another reason why is the current state of this country after George Floyd’s death. There have been several actions and statements about it from both people and businesses. That includes the NFL and NBA:

Somehow, those statements have not included MLB.

Yes, there are players like Marcus Stroman and Pete Alonso who have offered statements. There have been individual teams who have released statements. But, MLB as an organization, led by Commissioner Rob Manfred, has been silent.

Perhaps, next time MLB publicly wrings their hands on why they can’t get black people interested in baseball, we can all point to this moment. We can say MLB was absent and silent at a pivotal time, and that silence delivers a very real message. It should also make you wonder just how much MLB really cares about black participation rates in the sport.

2 Replies to “MLB Who Purportedly Wants More Black Players Silent on George Floyd”

  1. Wally says:

    Hi there,
    When you cite that only 7.7% of MLB players are “black,” does that number include the many other players of color who come to MLB from the Caribbean? Are you making a specific distinction between “black” and “African American” (US Born) versus those with dark complexions who come from other countries containing many citizens of African heritage?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I’m relying on the information from Forbes and am not personally trying to draw any conclusions on my own.

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