Dodgers players Mookie Betts and David Price, as well as manager Dave Roberts, will donate their Thursday game salary to The Players Alliance, a non-profit formed by current and former major league players to improve Black representation in baseball.
Betts and Price are two of over 250 major league players donating their salary on Jackie Robinson Day, along with others throughout the game, like Roberts and Giants manager Gabe Kapler, to name a few. Price is also auctioning off his 2020 championship ring and donating to The Players Alliance.
The entire Dodgers team, in full uniform, and several staff members gathered at the Jackie Robinson statue at Dodger Stadium before Thursday’s game. Dave Roberts said he’d like to have this be an annual tradition. John Hartung of SportsNet LA shared some video of the event on Instagram.
“I think we all know Jackie Robinson the name, the 42 in every ballpark, but we were just trying to give context on his life,” Roberts explained. “His legacy, and what he meant, not only to people of color, in baseball, outside of baseball. Being treated fairly, being respected, not always being liked, but being determined in doing and saying and fighting for what’s right.”
Earlier Thursday, Betts quoted Robinson in an Instagram post featuring a picture of Betts at Robinson’s statue: “The right of every American to first-class citizenship is the most important issue of our time.”
Last year, with Jackie Robinson Day observed across MLB on August 28, The Players Alliance raised over $1 million. With over 250 players donating their salary from Thursday, that total will be increased this year. Major league players are paid based on a 186-day season, so one day of Price’s $32 million salary equates to roughly $172,043, and Betts’ $14.5 million this year comes out to approximately $77,957 per day.
“One of the things that makes The Players Alliance so special is that it’s powered by the players, who give back with both their time and money,” said Players Alliance president and former Dodgers player Curtis Granderson. “Having Mookie and David support our Breaking Barriers campaign with the donation of their full game-day pay will hugely support our mission and enable increased opportunities. I have no doubt that Jackie would be proud of our efforts to keep building on his legacy of breaking barriers.”
Part of the Breaking Barriers campaign is a financial commitment to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, setting up a college scolarship fund beginning with the fall class of 2021. Other funds raised Thursday will go toward the Gear for Good, which distributes baseball equipment, as well as The Players Alliance mentorship, scholarship, and access programs.
“I think the Players Alliance is doing a lot of good for young kids of color. It’s really good to see that players have skin in the game as far as sweat equity and trying to execute, to give back,” Roberts said. “If me and my wife can do our part to help that, I think that’s a good thing.”