The executives at the top of Major League Baseball are trying really hard to convince fans that there are problems in baseball that aren’t really there. Pace of play? They have reduced game times by virtually nothing. Extra innings are boring? They actually are not! They are very very exciting and I will tune into an 18 inning game ten times out of ten. Rob Manfred really wants to just limit baseball being played. I truly believe that Manfred thinks the less baseball being played, the better. There are several actual problems that are plaguing baseball such as umpires and how sticky stuff was being used around the league. There was also the sign-stealing Astros a couple of years back, local blackouts so fans can’t watch their local teams on MLB.TV, and the list goes on and on. Major League Baseball is only making more and more issues for themselves.
Today it was announced that MLB was in talks with Barstool Sports to work on bringing broadcasts of baseball games through them. Barstool is a brand that has gained a lot of traction in recent years for all the wrong reasons. They are a company based on misogynistic and racist values starting at the very top of their organization. They have shown time and time again that they have no problems saying and displaying things that encourage racist and misogynistic practices amongst their own employees and their fans. They perpetuate hate in just about everything that they do and the fact that MLB wants to partner with them is just disappointing.
Yesterday on August 8th, there was an incident in Colorado with potential inappropriate and racist language that the league stood up against and said that it would absolutely not be tolerated. Partnering with Barstool is literally an exact, hypocritical response to saying hate will not be tolerated. There are plenty of instances that show the president of Barstool Sports, Dave Portnoy, saying disgustingly racist and sexist things. You can find them all over the internet if you care to take the time to look yourself.
Major League Baseball has made incredible strides this year and in recent years for minority athletes and women in the sport. Alyssa Nakken became the first woman to become an on-field MLB coach in 2020, a huge stride for women in not only baseball but other major sports. Kim Ng became the general manager of the Marlins in 2020 as well, becoming the first woman to become the general manager of a men’s sports team in North America. Ng was wildly overdue for this position, as she has been doing incredible work in baseball since 1990. The Marlins finally gave her her long-overdue shot, and she has quickly proven to be one of the best GMs in baseball. Earlier in 2021, the Baltimore Orioles had an all-female broadcast crew for one of their games, making huge strides for girls and women everywhere that want to break into broadcasting.
Now imagine giving Barstool the same platform where you have made so many strides, their past would lead you to believe that they would undo all the work baseball has done in recent years to make progress. It would be horrible for baseball, it would be awful for the fans, it would be terrible for people everywhere.
Fans should never tolerate hate, racism, sexism, discrimination, or anything of the sort. MLB is not a sport of hate; the fans deserve better and it all starts with the commissioner himself. Manfred needs to be better. Baseball deserves better.
Feature image from @MLB on Twitter.