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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Minor League unionization, entitlement, and the USLPA

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