David Price, Jason Heyward and Jackie Bradley Jr. are among 100-plus players who have pledged a day's salary on Jackie Robinson Day to The Players Alliance.
The organization made the announcement on Monday. The full list of players making donations was not revealed.
According to the organization, the Players Alliance is made up of a group of current and former MLB players dedicated to improving Black representation in baseball. Interest in baseball has declined over the years in Black communities, particularly in inner cities.
Baseball needs inner city investment
LaVonté Stewart, whose Lost Boyz organization runs youth baseball and softball programs in underserved Chicago neighborhoods, spoke with Yahoo Sports 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,” Stewart said. “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?"
Jackie Robinson Day falls on April 15 and celebrates the man who broke the color barrier in baseball. The Players Alliance reports that it raised more than $1 million in 2020 from players who donated their Jackie Robinson Day salaries.
That money was invested in Black communities across the country providing pantry and COVID-19 resources in addition to youth baseball equipment, according to the organization. Money raised on Thursday will again go toward providing equipment in addition to mentorship and scholarship access in Black communities, according to The Players Alliance.
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