Monday, January 6, 2014

A bit of progress with MLB Diversity Summit - Much more is needed

While I subscribe to the belief that it is correlation, in contrast to causation, last year, and the year before, I made a major stink about our exclusion from Major League Baseball's Diversity Summit.

I made telephone calls and sent a torrent of email. Ultimately, though, minorities are still defined by Executive Orders signed by Richard Nixon 40+ years ago. To gain minority status will require a rules change to the SBA 8(a) rules which govern what types of businesses are considered disadvantaged. By all rights we should qualify.

However;


MLB has made it possible to indicate an EEO category (or white) and then one of the demographic categories. This now includes LGBT which provides a possible opening (I am showing the job seekers application).

I am sending Wendy Lewis (who heads this program) an email. I will update this post if and when I receive a reply.

Unfortunately, the diversity supplier application does not include the additional demographic data. Apparently, they haven't fully received the message. A white LGBT American would be excluded from the summit as a minority owned business.

Why this is important:

Major League Baseball creates an economy of staggering proportions. Annual attendance is about 75 million people. Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people are employed in businesses that supply MLB. In addition to the obvious like bats, balls and uniforms, there are suppliers of everything from fertilizer to gift baskets. There are videographers, souvenir manufacturers, program printers, event planners, beverage suppliers and manufacturers of the 300 million plastic cups that those beverages go into. Just imagine the thousands of metric tons of corn kernels. I cannot overstate just how enormous MLB is as a market. It is equivalent to, or exceeds, the GNP of a small country.
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