MLB Reportedly Adds Sexual Orientation Protections


In a move that is being hailed as a step forward in establishing a baseline for LGBT inclusivity in sports, a sexual orientation nondiscrimination clause has reportedly been added to Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.

From New York Daily News:

Article XV, Section A of MLB’s expiring Basic Agreement, in effect from 2006-2011, states: “The provisions of this Agreement shall be applied to all Players covered by this Agreement without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.”

In the new agreement, the words “sexual orientation” were added to Article XV. Michael Weiner, the union’s executive director, said that the decision was not motivated by requests from his membership, but by “the lawyers on both sides just recognizing that it should be there.”

More on the background of this from the Windy City Times:

After the NFL added sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy, Rafael McDonnell of Resource Center Dallas wrote a letter to MLB Commissioner Bud Selig calling for pro baseball to follow suit, reports the Dallas Voice. McDonnell received responses from both Selig and MLB Executive Vice President Robert Manfred Jr.

“While it is my policy not to comment on matters currently on the table, I think it is safe to say the issue you have raised will be addressed in a positive way,” Manfred wrote to McDonnell, the Voice reports.

McDonnell has also written a letter to the National Basketball Association asking that they follow suit. So far he has not received a response.

This follows the NFL in August quietly making its bargaining agreement sexual orientation inclusive. As in the case of the NFL, this change to the MLB agreement effects managerial, Club and administrative decisions only. It does not strictly prohibit discriminatory behavior between players which would fall under different provisions that have yet to be amended, though managerial oversight would seem to give some scope to preventing discrimination among players.

While several MLB teams have released “It Gets Better” videos, there are still no publicly out gay players in the game. This has been blamed, in part, on the wider taboo of male homosexuality in sports. It is hoped that, as more and more sporting organizations take steps to show they will not tolerate homophobia in the game, this problem will be eroded.

It was announced on Wednesday that MLB unions and owners have indeed signed the collective bargaining agreement. The agreement also makes MLB the first pro major league in North America to conduct blood tests for human growth hormone.

Related Reading:

Seattle Sports Teams Unite for It Gets Better Video

San Francisco Giants to LGBT Teens: It Gets Better! (VIDEO)

Noah Calls $50,000 Fine for Gay Slur “Fair”

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Al Hikes AZ.


Jamie Clemons
Jamie Clemons6 years ago

without regard to race, color, religion or national origin or sexual orientation.”

they should also add gender.

robert keenan
robert keenan6 years ago

It's the right message to send to the owners, managers, players and fans. Major League sports are not going to be left behind this change in American society. This sets up the framework for eradicating homophobia from sports.

Danuta Watola
Danuta W6 years ago

Excellent article. Thanks for sharing.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

Well, .... good. I'm surprised, but good! The world changes little by little.

sherry l.
sherry luciano6 years ago

It's about time.

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal6 years ago

It's a step in the right direction...move aside homophobia and step up to the plate equality.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago


Angela Scholder
Angela S6 years ago

Well, it is a step in the right direction.
But, they have still plenty of groups of people left they can still be discriminated against, like the Trans and Intersex groups.
So, it's a try but fail!

Robert Hardy
Robert Hardy6 years ago

It is really sad that no one ever notes that "homophobia" is really the sickness. It is a phobia and would qualify for mental illness.