Racial inequality in sports has been a topic of discussion for a long time, but lately, it has been under the microscope more than ever. There are plenty of issues across every sport but one common thread among the biggest leagues is a lack of diversity within upper management and ownership. All four of the major American sports leagues are headed by a white commissioner, and the overwhelming majority of owners, managers, and coaches are white.
I think it’s a fact that a lack of diversity is a weakness for any organization. Diversity—whether we’re talking about race, gender, sexuality, or anything else—brings people with different perspectives and experiences to the table and allows everyone to be both represented and have others consider views and ideas they wouldn’t encounter otherwise.
People in Nashville have been begging for an MLB team for a while, and now, there are some people looking to not just bring a franchise to the city but to make history by doing so. According to USA Today, the Music City Baseball group is pushing for the creation of the Nashville Stars—via either expansion or relocation—a name paying homage to a Negro League team and a moniker that was dreamed up by a collective hoping to make it the first team in the history of the league where black owners hold the majority of the stake.
Former MLB star and three-time World Series champion Dave Stewart is on the group’s board of directors and advisory committee and says he hopes MLB commissioner Rob Manfred will give him and his partners the tools they need in order to create change for the better.
“This is what baseball should do. They should open the doors to Black ownership, diverse ownership. This is the time for baseball to do something they’ve never done. For what this country is going through, and what baseball is going through, there will be a residual effect. This is history.”
Former MLB GM Dave Dombrowski is also on board, adding to a pretty stacked leadership roster that includes businessman John Loar, former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa, and Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president Bob Kendrick.
I’ve never been to Nashville but I’ve heard nothing but awesome things about the city and it seems like it would be a great place for baseball. This feels like it would be a no-brainer for the MLB if all the pieces can fall into place but this isn’t the first time the city has been teased so I guess we’ll have to wait and see if it’s the last.