Some MLB teams still haven’t promised to pay minor leaguers in August

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MLB failed its first real coronavirus test

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Human rights are political

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If you’re confused about how “Human rights are political” is the headline of a sports story in a sports newsletter, then you missed a couple of items from this past week in MLB. On Monday, MLB’s Twitter account tweeted out video of Giants’ players and manager Gabe Kapler kneeling during the national anthem, and then responded to a fan who wanted to “keep politics out of baseball” by saying, “Supporting human rights is not political.”

You might think hey, that’s a social media person, not an individual with any real power outside of the trust given to them to handle MLB’s social media messaging, so it is not necessarily a reflection of anything, but then Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy said something similar in response to the enormous Black Lives Matter billboard (in Red Sox font) outside of Fenway Park, stating that:

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Canada doesn’t want any part of MLB’s 2020 pandemic season

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Why is coronavirus-denier Joe West umping MLB’s 2020 season?

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Sports aren’t taking coronavirus resources from the public, unless they are

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We have been assured, again and again, that there are enough coronavirus tests available that athletes being continually tested throughout the return of sports won’t be taking away tests from the public. This is a point I have a hard time believing on its face, because no one has bothered to show the math on that yet, but I’m willing to acknowledge that it might be the truth. The thing is, though, that this line, that there are enough tests to go around and resources aren’t being taken away from the public in order to test and retest and retest athletes yet again, is still misleading. Because even if there are enough tests, it’s clear there aren’t enough or robust enough labs to analyze all of the tests: it doesn’t matter if you have enough tests if you lack the machines or technicians to analyze them all in a timely fashion.

Priority is being given to athletes over regular people, and that is where the resource issue is.

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The Braves’ half-hearted response to obvious racism is telling

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On Monday, I wrote about the Washington football team looking like they’re finally going to change their name — which is currently a racial slur — because FedEx threatened to pull sponsorship. That was the preamble for the real point of the piece, which is that these Native-based team names — including the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Chiefs, and Atlanta Braves — need to change even if they seem comparatively innocuous to A Literal Racial Slur. That’s because it will help to dismantle the absolutely racist tradition of “honoring” Native Americans by appropriating their iconography and creating a culture where white people in redface and headdresses banging on drums and dismissing the concerns of actual, living Natives is all considered acceptable.

The Braves do not agree, according to Ken Rosenthal. They’re focused on figuring out how best to address the deployment of the Tomahawk Chop, a racist chant that’s generally under fire but was brought closer to the flame last October, when Cardinals’ reliever Ryan Helsley criticized it during the postseason.

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Changing sports teams’ racist names is a start

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A long-running National Football League issue seems to be nearing its end, and it looks like it’ll just be the first fallen domino. Washington’s football team is finally going to get a name change from its current slur against Native Americans to… something else that hasn’t been decided yet, pending an “investigation” into their current name. But pressure from sponsors, including FedEx, which has the naming rights to Washington’s stadium, finally got the organization and owner Dan Snyder to move on changing the clearly racist name.

It’s a shame, of course, that the threat of lost money from corporate sponsors is what will get this long-awaited change to actually happen, and not Native Americans saying the name is a problem, not activists and organizers who have been on this case for much longer than should have been necessary. But then again, FedEx and co. weren’t going to move on this unless that pressure was there, either, so the “shame” here is mostly just on Snyder, who was going to be unmoved by any argument that didn’t involve his own wallet. And since there were always going to be enough fans willing to go to games and buy the merch even if everyone uncomfortable with the name never contributed a dollar, he was never going to get this ball moving.

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Get Kenesaw Mountain Landis’ name off of the MVP trophy

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