October 18, 2021

Players and advocacy groups have been pushing Major League Baseball to do something about the plight of minor league players, and now MLB says it will require teams to provide housing for players starting in 2022. It's about time. If labor is valuable enough for society to create a need for it, it's valuable enough to earn a living wage. Via ESPN:

While MLB has yet to outline its plan formally, six team officials told ESPN they are starting to prepare to help house players across each of their four minor league affiliates. In mid-September, owners from the league's 30 teams agreed unanimously to a plan that would provide housing for certain minor league players, the league said in a statement. Whether they will offer stipends that fully cover housing or provide the lodging itself has yet to be decided, sources said.

Minor league players have grown increasingly outspoken about their working conditions, criticizing teams for salaries that leave some below the poverty line, and the financial issues that stem from having to provide their own housing for home games. The emergence of groups Advocates for Minor Leaguers and More Than Baseball, their use of social media to highlight the living conditions of minor league players and the willingness of players to talk on the record about their experiences illuminated issues about which players have spoken privately for years.

"This is a historic victory for minor league baseball players," Harry Marino, executive director of Advocates of Minor Leaguers and a former minor league player, told ESPN. "When we started talking to players this season about the difficulties they face, finding and paying for in-season housing was at the top of almost every player's list. As a result, addressing that issue became our top priority."

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