Major League Baseball (MLB) has banned
discrimination based on sexual orientation, the New
York Daily News reported.
The league's new Collective Bargaining
Agreement (CBA) adds the words “sexual orientation” to Article
XV, Section A of the Basic Agreement, which states: “The provisions
of this Agreement shall be applied to all Players covered by this
Agreement without regard to race, color, religion or national
According to gay weekly The
Dallas Voice, the inclusion is a result of a request by
Rafael McDonnell, communications and advocacy manager for Resource
Center Dallas, which operates the John Thomas Gay & Lesbian
McDonnell called on baseball
Commissioner Bud Seelig to include the protections based on sexual
orientation and gender identity.
“I ask as an LGBT fan and on behalf
of the center that you both please add sexual orientation provisions
to the MLB's new CBA, and encourage each team owner that has
previously not done so to add sexual orientation, gender identity and
gender expression nondiscrimination protections to their team's
employment nondiscrimination policies,” McDonnell wrote.
In July, the National Football League
(NFL) added similar protections to its 2011 agreement.
While no professional athlete in the
United States has come out gay during his or her career, earlier this
year former Phoenix Suns CEO Rick Welts announced he's gay. And over
the past couple of years, several straight athletes have openly
advocated for gay rights, including New York Rangers winger Sean
Avery, Phoenix Suns point guard Steve
Nash, New England Patriots safety Bret
Lockett, Carolina Panthers linebacker Nic
Harris, New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, former Giants
defensive end Michael
Strahan, Washington Redskins wide receiver Donte
Stallworth, Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon
Ayanbadejo, to name a few.