MLB Makes It A Little More Comfortable To Be Gay

The biggest talking point in MLB's new collective bargaining agreement is draft slotting, which paradoxically penalizes certain small-market teams by limiting signing bonuses. Opinions are split, but everyone can agree that if this is the biggest controversy, baseball's in a million times better shape than the NBA.

One little-noted addition to the CBA is a non-discrimination clause for sexual orientation, the first in MLB history. It's a big step to put clear and unambiguous language onto their books, even for was already a relatively gay-friendly league. But it's good for gay fans and it's good for gay players and wouldn't you know it, we have Gloria Allred and Roger McDowell to thank.

The Dallas Observer reports on a local activist's push to get the discrimination clause included, and was told that MLB had been considering the addition since April. You remember, right? McDowell, the Braves pitching coach, throwing some slurs at San Francisco fans? Allred masturbating a bat at a press conference? It wasn't pretty. McDowell was suspended two weeks without pay, but MLB decided it would make good legal sense to have it in binding language.

MLB's actually a bit behind the curve on this one. MLS and the NHL have both long had non-discrimination clauses, and the NFL added one to their newest CBA. The lone holdouts among major American sports? The NBA and WNBA, probably the two leagues where it would be needed most.

How Resource Center Dallas Played a Part In Getting MLB to Add Sexual Orientation to CBA [Dallas Observer]
Photo via dhlow's Flickr