Leaders from the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball players associations are participating in the unveiling of a “Universal Declaration of Player Rights,” that is aimed at a new approach to governing sports and protecting athletes.
The release comes from the World Players Association, which is a federation of more than 100 unions representing athletes from around the world. Don Fehr of the NHL Players’ Association, Tony Clark of the Major League Baseball Players Association, DeMaurice Smith of the NFL Players Association and Michele Roberts of the National Basketball Players Association are part of the group.
The document contains 17 articles, including declaration of the right to unionize and collectively bargain, the right to express opinions freely and the right to receive equal pay for equal work. The stuff about the right to express opinions is, no doubt, at influenced by the pushback Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players have received after kneeling or sitting during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality. It seems apparent, in fact, that Kaepernick has been blackballed from the game for his role in beginning the protests.
You can see the Declaration in its entirety here.
If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.
“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.
Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.