Yankee Stadium
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The New York Yankees have announced the formation of an official committee to address diversity and inclusion.

Josh Benjamin

On Tuesday morning the New York Yankees announced the official formation of a committee to promote diversity and inclusion, according to an official statement.

Per the statement, this committee “focuses on identifying and combating disparities and systemic inequities that obstruct socioeconomic fairness and progress for marginalized groups.”

The committee is made up of people from community leaders to members of the front office to even Yankees alumni. Owner Hal Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman are members, as are former beloved players CC Sabathia and Reggie Jackson. Coaches Mike Harkey and Marcus Thames are also involved, as is popular New York filmmaker and lifelong Yankees fan Spike Lee.

“The shared goal has been to identify ways to combine resources and utilize the panel’s various prominent public platforms to address and eradicate barriers that impede access, diversity, inclusion and opportunity for our neighbors around Yankee Stadium and in the larger metropolitan community,” the statement continued.

 

JB’s Take

This is a move long overdue by the New York Yankees, albeit a necessary one. George Floyd’s murder last year was a wake-up call to everyone: racism is still alive and well in America and everyone from John Q. Public to professional sports teams noticed.

Furthermore, as I’ve discussed recently, the number of African-American players in baseball is dwindling. By putting together this committee of people in and out of baseball, the Yankees are showing they’re truly committed to being part of the change.

Think of who’s on the board. Sabathia and his family are actively involved in various causes involving racial justice. Many of Lee’s films aren’t just entertainment, but social commentaries in their own right.

And this isn’t just a random action by the Yankees. The committee wouldn’t be as large as it is and feature so many faces (old and new) if the team wasn’t serious.

It’s going to be interesting to witness how much the New York Yankees promote this committee over the course of the season. The mentorship program with CUNY is a great step. So is involving community leaders from around the city and not just people associated with the Yankees.

Hopefully, this means the Yankees can start leading the fight for true and meaningful change in baseball and across the board.