If a team does something for Black History Month but doesn’t tell us, did it really happen? At the beginning of the month, Major League Baseball issued a press release detailing all of their efforts and activities for the months. A separate press release listed teams’ activities. I assumed that meant that teams would be prominently featuring Black History Month info on their websites. I assumed wrong. Other than the Baltimore Orioles and the Cincinnati Reds, who both created a special page on “Celebrating Black History Month,” and a few teams that posted videos of current and past players, not much seems to have happened.
If you want to bring attention to something in today’s world of social media, you can Tweet about it, put it on Instagram, or post something on your Facebook page or website. Most teams do all four, to cover all bases (pun intended). So, if you are taking something seriously, you should probably feature it prominently on your website.
Most teams have a link on the right-hand side that says, “Join Us in Celebrating Black History Month.” But that’s just a link (which I refuse to provide) that sends us to MLBshop.com – where you can purchase MLB stuff from “Minority-owned partners.” Ok, that’s a start. But it also seems a little self-serving to me, since you know MLB gets a cut from those sales. Besides, it seems to be a rotating link – sometimes it says Black History Month, sometimes it’s just a link to MLBshop.com.
Most teams are, understandably, focusing on Spring Training on their websites right now. A few have really annoying pop-ups urging us to buy tickets – but maybe a less annoying pop-up for Black History Month would have signified their commitment instead. Afterall, they made a big show of saying they were going to celebrate it this year. A few teams, however, did give space on their home pages to Black History Month and diversity matters, though only two teams bothered to create special pages for 2021 Black History Month.
Below is the list of what is prominently displayed on teams’ home pages regarding Black History Month (if I had to hunt for it, it didn’t count) (not that I really found anything hunting, though). I was generous and also included diversity-type links:
- Baltimore Orioles – Celebrating Black History Month
- Cincinnati Reds – Celebrating Black History Month
- Detroit Tigers – Black History Month videos: Torii Hunter and Lou Whittaker
- Houston Astros – Black History Month video: Michael Brantley
- Kansas City Royals – Black History Month Roundtable video
- Miami Marlins – Social Justice page
- New York Yankees – Press release: Diversity and Inclusion Committee
- Oakland Athletics – Black Lives Matter page
- San Diego Padres – today on their website they have a video from MLB Network from “Black History Month with Joe Morgan Week,” recognizing Tommy Pham. There not separate link to it and also rotates so you don’t always see it. So, I’m not sure it counts
- San Francisco Giants – Black Lives Matter page
- Toronto Blue Jays – Black History Month videos
- Atlanta Braves – Press release: Braves establish Henry Aaron Fellowship
That’s the main website pages for twelve teams – not even half. Some teams also have information and activities under the “Community” section of their websites – but much of this is just general information on what they are doing in the community related to diversity (if they post anything at all). We can do better next year, MLB, can’t we?
Just because Black History Month is coming to an end, doesn’t mean we have to stop celebrating. Sadly, MLB appears to have barely begun.