Just in case you haven’t been in the know, Minor League Baseball players are demanding to be paid more and some have filed a lawsuit against Major League Baseball, 17 baseball clubs, and Commissioner Allan “Bud” Selig. They are claiming that their low pay is in violation of the minimum wage requirements set by the Federal government.
Minor League Baseball Players’ Concerns
MiLB.com reports that players that sign ‘first contracts’ are paid $1100 a month maximum. With the baseball season lasting about 5 months, and players only allotted $25 a day for food while on the road, this can make for some hard living for these athletes. Minor League Baseball clubs are reported being worth between $3 and $25 million, and it is obvious that the money is not invested in paying the players which have many of them so frustrated that they have filed the lawsuit.
While the low pay does seem like a poor incentive for others wanting to play in the minor leagues, we must remember that it does offer an opportunity for other advances into Major League Baseball. Let’s not put all minor league baseball players in the same boat. Sports Illustrated states that some drafted players are issued signing bonuses above the usual $2500 that reach into 6 and 7 figures. Along with the baseball players getting exposure while training and practicing to pursue their ultimate goal in going to the major leagues, and their signing bonuses, some may be curious as to why these players are not satisfied with their opportunity. As cliché as this seems, the answer resonates in the American Dream.
Baseball in America
Baseball is a sport that thrives on American pride and its livelihood will forever be connected to the American Dream and one of the few things that is exclusive to American culture. How can being a part of the working poor be considered anything close to living that dream? While it is true that part of that dream is working hard for your successes, not getting paid enough to support your dream can be demeaning and a blow to the self-esteem. Like other Americans, these baseball players have the right to demand what they consider is fair pay according to the labor performed. After much talk, they have come to the conclusion that it is below minimum wage.
Across the country many lowly paid workers are demanding to be paid more than the minimum wage in order to make a decent living to support themselves and their families. Minor league baseball players are asking for the same. Americans view baseball as a beautiful pastime for their families and going to the games is often the highlight of so many people’s lives. This sentiment should be shared amongst the players as well as the sport has broken so many barriers and resembles accomplishments in the United States over the decades.