MLB makes $100M commitment to increase Black participation

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DENVER — Major League Baseball will give at least $100 million over 10 years to the Players Alliance and help raise an additional $50 million aimed at increasing the number of Blacks playing the sport and eventually making the big leagues.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the decision before Monday night’s All-Star Home Run Derby, saying it would be the sport’s largest charitable commitment.

“We want young people _ period _ playing the game, particularly young people of color,” Manfred said at a Coors Field news conference.

Manfred was joined by Bo Bichette, Corbin Burnes, Josh Hader, Tim Anderson, Mark Melancon, Alex Reyes, Marcus Semien, Taijuan Walker and Zack Wheeler; former players Curtis Granderson, Dave Roberts, CC Sabathia and Reggie Smith; and Colorado Rockies owner Dick Montfort and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Mark Walter.

The Players Alliance was launched last year, and MLB and the Major League Players Association announced a $10 million commitment last September. In addition, 500 players donated all or a portion of their salaries on April 15, Jackie Robinson Day.

MLB said it will give $10 million annually starting in 2023 plus obtain $5 million in yearly matching contributions from Players Alliance fundraising.

Twenty-four major leaguers participated in a program with 150 children Monday.

“This is about getting kids that maybe wouldn’t be able to play baseball, the opportunity to play baseball,” Montfort said. “This was a big ask for owners to give up this money, even though it comes from central baseball. Central baseball is owned by the 30 clubs.”

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