The issue of minor league player wages has gripped the MLB world. Most recently, the MLB was ordered to pay $185 million to current and former minor league players to settle a federal class action lawsuit involving allegations of alleged violations of minimum wage laws. Ahead of the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday, commissioner Rob Manfred was asked about the situation. His response was an interesting one, per Evan Drellich of The Athletic.
Rob Manfred: “I kind of reject the premise of the question, that minor league players are not paid a living wage"
— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) July 19, 2022
Rob Manfred said he “rejects the premise of the question that minor league players are not paid a living wage.” It's a pretty eye-opening take, considering that it's been reported that minor league players have received salaries below the poverty line, even after Congress passed a 2018 bill that exempted them from federal minimum-wage and overtime laws.
MLB fans and writers saw Manfred's comment and they were not pleased, to say the least.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) July 19, 2022
Then I reject the premise that he's paying attention to this issue. https://t.co/VRJ3loQHmp
— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) July 19, 2022
They were clearly not buying what Manfred was selling. This MLB reporter even came with the receipts, fact-checking Manfred on his minor league player take.
Many minor league players are NOT paid a living wage: https://t.co/tf2H7e9pOc https://t.co/tu71w2HXtp
— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) July 19, 2022
Harry Marino, director of Advocates for Minor Leaguers, instantly responded to Manfred's comment, calling it “callous and false.”
Harry Marino, director of Advocates for Minor Leaguers, responds to Rob Manfred: pic.twitter.com/VDIPhwld8V
— Zach Buchanan (@ZHBuchanan) July 19, 2022
Rob Manfred has never been the most popular commissioner. From criticisms about his inability to market the game, to accusations about fiddling with the baseball, to the MLB lockout, fans have had plenty of reasons to dislike him.
This might take the cake, though. It's hard to see the logic behind Manfred's comments, especially when it's been a valid question about the MLB and the minor leagues for quite some time.
Rob Manfred continues to do his popularity among MLB fans no favors.