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‘A Lockout Is the Ultimate Economic Weapon. In a $10B Industry, the Owners Decided To Use This Weapon Against Players’: MLB Players are Unified For The Fight

Spring training games have been canceled, and Opening Day 2022 has been canceled as Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association failed to reach a new collective bargaining agreement. For the first time since 1995, baseball will miss games due to a lockout. As is the case in any labor dispute, both sides see the situation differently.

Port St. Lucie, Florida: Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association Tony Clark answering questions about the sign stealing scandal before a spring training workout on February 19, 2020 at Clover Park in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday RM via Getty Images)

“Today is a sad day. We came to Florida to navigate and negotiate for a fair collective bargaining agreement. Despite meeting daily, there is still significant work to be done,” MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said Tuesday. “The reason we are not playing is simple: a lockout is the ultimate economic weapon. In a $10 billion dollar industry, the owners have decided to use this weapon against the greatest asset they have: the players.”

Labor and management have been at odds in the MLB for the past 60 years. At every turn the owners and league’s goal is to crush the players. Increase revenues and profits on their end while sharing as little as they can with the labor (read: players).

“We worked hard to avoid an outcome that is bad for our fans, bad for our players and bad for our clubs,” said Commissioner Rob Manfred at a news conference in Jupiter, Florida, where the negotiations were taking place. “I want to assure our fans that our failure to reach an agreement was not due to a lack of effort on the part of either party.”

When Tony Clark took over the MLB Players Association in 2013 he became the first former player to be head of the union. This was the start of a different era for the union, one that was for players run by players. That Clark, a Black man, was able to sell that vision to a predominantly white membership is a testament to who he is as a leader and communicator.

Read full story at The Shadow League here.

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