Blake Snell will wish he was never on it.
He said on the social gaming site what a lot of Major League Baseball players are probably thinking. Like him, they’re anxious about risking their health by returning to play and not happy they have to take a pay cut to do so.
But after a rant as ill-advised as it was tone-deaf, Snell is now the poster child for spoiled millionaire ballplayers everywhere.
And, really, let’s face it. He deserves all the vitriol coming his way.
“I’m not playing unless I get mine,’’ Snell proclaimed, saying he would sit out any resumed season if his $7 million pay is cut too much. He said other things, too, but his main point seemed to be that even a pandemic shouldn’t spoil the riches he so richly deserves.
“I’m not splitting no revenue. I want all mine,’’ the 2018 Cy Young winner for Tampa Bay said. “Bro, y’all got to understand, too, because y’all going to be like: ‘Bro, play for the love of the game. Man, what’s wrong with you, bro? Money should not be a thing.’ Bro, I’m risking my life. What do you mean, ‘It should not be a thing?’ It 100% should be a thing.”
Well, maybe not 100%, but let’s try and cut the 27-year-old Snell some slack. Maybe he’s been playing video games so much he hasn’t had time to pick up a newspaper or watch the news on TV.
He might not have seen the headlines that 36.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the last eight weeks, or the poll that shows 46% without jobs are worried they will not have enough food to make it through the end of the month.
And maybe he didn’t peek into his bank account and notice that $286,500 has already been deposited there for this season without throwing a pitch. He’s also scheduled to get $43,210 for each game — yes, each game — of the schedule should the season resume.
No, it’s not the $7 million he signed up for. But that was silly money even before the virus began spreading across the country.
The bottom line is there’s going to be a new reality when sports resume and the real costs of the pandemic become known. Guarantees that players had in the past aren’t as solid anymore and it’s anyone’s guess how it all plays out economically.
Without fans in the stand, MLB signaled this week it wants to split revenues with players on an 82-game season as a way of reducing the risk of big losses. That idea was essentially branded a non-starter by the players’ union, which has always been quick to dig its heels in whenever the golden goose seemed threatened.
The revenue split may not fly as presented, and that’s fine. There might be better ideas that make financial sense for both the leagues and the players — and they should both feel the pain equally.
But what Snell and the players’ union don’t seem to get is that they’ll have to compromise in some way if there is to be any hope of a season this year. What they also don’t seem to get is no one wants to hear any complaining about having to take smaller paychecks to make it happen.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker made that point this week, saying that while players have a right to bargain he’s disappointed they’re holding out for “very, very high salaries and payments during a time when I think everybody is sacrificing.’’
Pritzker walked back his comments a day later, saying players have a right to protect their health and safety. They do, and they should have an option to sit out the season with no penalty — and no pay — if they feel threatened by playing while the virus is still active.
But Snell seemed to attach a price tag to his comfort level, saying he shouldn’t have to take a risk at the same time he’s taking a pay cut. And that’s just wrong, especially coming from a player who is due $39 million guaranteed over the next three years once baseball comes back.
That’s money ICU nurses can never hope to make as they go about saving lives every day. It’s money not even imaginable to grocery store clerks who risk being infected every time they go to work just so we can all eat.
Go ahead, sit the season out or play if you want. But don’t whine about having to make sacrifices to do it.
America is hurting too much right now to listen.
© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
FIFA calls on organizers not to sanction in-game gestures supporting George Floyd – CBC.ca
FIFA urged soccer competition organizers on Monday to apply “common sense” and consider not sanctioning players for solidarity with George Floyd during matches.
The recognition of the “depth of sentiment” over Floyd’s death came in a rare statement by FIFA telling the global game to show flexibility and not enforce laws of soccer it helps to set.
Players used weekend games in Germany to reveal messages demanding justice for Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died after he pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck in Minneapolis.
Germany’s soccer federation announced earlier Monday that it was assessing whether to sanction the players for breaking laws of the game that prohibit “any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images” on equipment.
WATCH | German league players show support for George Floyd:
“FIFA fully understands the depth of sentiment and concerns expressed by many footballers in light of the tragic circumstances of the George Floyd case,” the governing body said in a statement.
FIFA controls half of the eight votes on the International Football Association Board, with the other four held by England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. A law change in 2014 — proposed by England — led to players being banned from revealing personal statements on undergarments.
England winger Jadon Sancho was booked while playing for Borussia Dortmund on Sunday for removing his jersey — a yellow-card offence — only so he could reveal a T-shirt with a “Justice for George Floyd” message.
WATCH | Canadian athletes speak against racism:
Borussia Dortmund teammate Achraf Hakimi displayed the same message on a T-shirt after scoring in the same game on Sunday but was not booked because he did not lift his jersey over his head.
Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died on Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee for several minutes on his neck. Three other officers were also at the scene. Chauvin has been charged with murder and all four were fired.
On Monday, after the Deutscher Fussball-Bund said it was assessing the players’ actions, Cologne forward Anthony Modeste became the latest to make a gesture after scoring against Leipzig. He stood briefly with his right palm facing out and his left palm facing in to display the darker skin on the back of his hand.
Cologne said it was “a clear signal” against racism from Modeste.
WATCH | ESPN’s Howard Bryant reflects on Kaepernick’s preaceful protest:
DFB president Fritz Keller on Monday showed his respect and understanding for McKennie, Thuram, Sancho and Hakimi’s gestures.
“If people are discriminated against on the basis of their skin colour, it is unbearable. If they die because of their skin colour, then I am deeply distraught,” Keller said in a DFB statement. “The victims of racism need all of us to show solidarity.”
The expressions of protest are being investigated by the German soccer federation’s control body.
“As is the case internationally,” federation vice-president Rainer Koch said, “the game itself should remain free of political statements or messages of any kind.”
FIFA’s awareness of the depth of feeling over the racial inequalities highlighted by Floyd’s death comes amid ongoing criticism soccer is not doing enough to eradicate or punish racism.
“FIFA had repeatedly expressed itself to be resolutely against racism and discrimination of any kind and recently strengthened its own disciplinary rules with a view to helping to eradicate such behaviours,” the Zurich-based governing body said. “FIFA itself has promoted many anti-racism campaigns which frequently carry the anti-racism message at matches organised under its own auspices.”
UFC star Jon Jones confronts vandals during George Floyd protest in Albuquerque – GIVEMESPORT
UFC star Jon Jones took to the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico on Sunday night to confront vandals at a Black Lives Matter protest.
Jones has made news in the UFC world recently by vacating the light heavyweight belt but turned his attentions to more pressing matters at the weekend.
The 32-year-old shared footage on his Instagram account that shows him approaching vandals who were spray painting the city.
The protests were sparked by the death of American George Floyd while in police custody last week.
The clip of a police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes shocked the world and has led to people challenging the injustice towards black people.
But Jones was eager for the protests to be peaceful and he was seen asking the vandals to hand over their spray cans.
He added a caption that read: “Is this s*** even about George Floyd anymore?!? Why the f*** are you punk ass teenagers destroying our cities!??
“As a young black man trust me I’m frustrated as well but this is not the way, we are starting to make a bad situation worse.
“If you really got love for your city (505), protect your s***. All you old heads need to speak up, call your young family members and tell them to come home tonight.”
Several sports stars have paid tribute to Floyd, with Bundesliga football players making gestures in support of the American at the weekend.
On Saturday, Schalke’s American midfielder Weston McKennie wore a ‘Justice for George armband’.
And on Sunday, both Marcus Thuram and Jadon Sancho honoured Floyd after scoring for Borussia Monchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund respectively.
MLS players boycott training in apparent labour impasse – TSN
Toronto FC, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecap players boycotted training Monday in an apparent labour impasse between the MLS and the MLS Players Association.
It appears players in “multiple markets” also stayed home amidst reports they faced a threatened lockout by the league.
The training sessions are voluntary but players had been taking advantage of them, with Toronto, Atlanta, Inter Miami and Sporting Kansas City among those slated to progress from individual to small group training sessions Monday.
“Players made a CHOICE to focus their time and energy on an important decision which includes the threat of a lockout instead of volunteering to attend on-field training for a tournament we already agreed to attend,” tweeted Minnesota United midfielder Ethan Finlay, a member of the MLSPA’s executive board. “Refuse is not the word I would use.”
With the season on hold since March 12 due to the pandemic, the two sides have been bargaining about concessions and pay.
On Sunday night, the Players Association announced its membership had approved a package for the 2020 season included player salary reductions and additional concessions. It did not provide specifics although the proposal included participating in a summer tournament in Orlando.
“While a difficult vote in incredibly challenging times, it was taken collectively to ensure that players can return to competition as soon as they are safely able to do so,” the PA said in a statement. “The package has been formally submitted to the league for a decision by the owners.”
The league declined comment Sunday night but reports soon emerged that it wanted more concessions.
Complicating matters is the fact that while the league and PA agreed on a new collectively bargaining agreement in February, it has yet to be ratified.
The players’ proposal included adding a year to the CBA.
The labour negotiations come against a backdrop of unrest in the U.S. in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
“I can’t sleep some of these nights!,” tweeted Mark-Anthony Kaye, a Canadian international who plays for Los Angeles FC. “My mind just races and goes on and on at the amount of possible scenarios in where I lose my life or I’m harmed by a police officer who took an oath to protect us. The police force has lost its credibility, the CHANGE needs to start internally!”
The league released a statement Monday saying the “entire Major League Soccer family is deeply saddened and horrified by the senseless murder of George Floyd.
“We stand united with the black community throughout our country and share in the pain, anger and frustration. We hear you. We see you. We support you. We are committed to use our voices and the platform of our league, our clubs and our players to continue to champion equality and social justice.”
Prior to the league release, Toronto defender Justin Morrow wondered what was taking so long.
“How long must we wait to hear from you regarding what’s going on across the country?” he tweeted. “Can’t you see that your players are speaking up and it matters to them? Your silence is deafening. Please support us.”
The MLSPA issued its statement Sunday.
“Like our players, we are deeply sickened by the continued inequality and violence around the country. We stand with all of those who have been subjected to unfair and unequal treatment because of the colour of their skin. We must commit as a society to end this horrible cycle.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2020.
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