Culture of unionization in the NBA’s minors vs. MLB’s

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Some major news happened about a month ago, but it didn’t get very much play. That’s not because no one cares or that it’s not actually important, but has to do a lot with the state of things in the news right now. There are just a few things going on sucking up all of the oxygen in the room, between the literal pandemic, all of the election discourse, the return of live sports, the temporary postponement of live sports for MLB teams facing coronavirus outbreaks… it’s been a busy last few weeks, is all.

The news referred to in that first sentence, by the way, was the unionization of the NBA’s developmental league players. The G League’s players voted to unionize, with around 80 percent voting in favor of the move, and… that was that. Some of the silence around the story has to do with that, too. There is no protracted battle for recognition going on — the NBA itself recognized the organized union without a public fight or delay — so now there is just silence until the two sides meet at the bargaining table to discuss player salaries, health insurance, per diems, housing, and so on.

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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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There will be an MLB season in 2020, but should there be?

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American sports’ response to coronavirus is still lacking

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Despite the growing threat of coronavirus — which the World Health Organization is close to calling a pandemic, which now has over 1,000 confirmed cases in the United States despite America failing to test for the virus at the same rate as other afflicted countries — American sports leagues, for the most part, are going about business as usual.

Yes, the media is now barred from locker rooms and clubhouses across four major active sports (MLB, NHL, NBA, MLS), but fans are still attending those games. Media members can’t get within six-to-eight feet of a player to interview them, but 20,000-plus people still get to sit elbow-to-elbow, eating food from a concessions worker who can’t afford to take the day off if they have a cough, and then those 20,000 people disperse into the world once more, potentially carrying COVID-19 with them into their next interactions.

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The USWNT’s fight for equal pay takes center stage

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The United States Women’s National Team are your 2019 World Cup champions, just like they were in 2015. This time around, though, there is a discussion going on outside of just how awesome this roster and its players are (incredibly awesome, for the record): it’s beyond time for the women of America’s national team to be paid on par with the men of America’s national team.

It’s not just fans or media who think so, or anything like that: the team itself believes as much, and in fact sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for gender discrimination back in March of this year:

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Minor League unionization, entitlement, and the USLPA

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