Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) warms up before a baseball game against the Leaders Believers Achievers Foundation at the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa on August 19, 2019. (Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Sanders Welcomes End of Major League Lockout But Slams 'Baseball Oligarchs'

"We are dealing with an organization controlled by a number of billionaires," the democratic socialist senator said, while vowing to introduce legislation to end MLB owners' antitrust exemption.

Brett Wilkins

As Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association announced Thursday that they'd come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders welcomed news that the 99-day lockout was over and the full 162-game season would be saved and promised to introduce a bill aimed at ending the "baseball oligarchs'" antitrust exemption.

While Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a statement that he is "delighted to see an agreement reached so that the Major League Baseball season can start," he slammed the "unacceptable behavior" of team owners, who he said "negotiated in bad faith for more than 100 days in a blatant attempt to break the players' union."

"We are dealing with an organization controlled by a number of billionaires who collectively are worth over $100 billion," the democratic socialist and two-time U.S. presidential candidate noted. "It should be clear to all that these baseball oligarchs have shown that they are far more concerned about increasing their wealth and profits than in strengthening our national pastime."

Sanders excoriated the owners for eliminating their teams' affiliation with more than 40 minor league ballclubs, "not only causing needless economic pain and suffering but also breaking the hearts of fans in small and mid-sized towns all over America."

The senator took the "baseball oligarchs" to task for paying minor league players "totally inadequate wages," for seeking to "eliminate the jobs of another 900 minor league players," and for taking "billions of dollars in corporate welfare from taxpayers to build expensive stadiums" while charging "outrageously high prices for tickets that many working-class families cannot afford."

"It would be wrong for Congress to simply celebrate today's agreement and move on," Sanders asserted. "We must prevent the greed of baseball's oligarchs from destroying the game. The best way to do that is to end Major League Baseball's antitrust exemption and I will be introducing legislation to do just that."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian Rights Activists Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

The shared prize, said the Norwegian Nobel Committee, is going to "three outstanding champions of human rights, democracy, and peaceful co-existence in the neighbor countries Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine."

Jake Johnson ·


Demands for Peace Talks Intensify as Biden Says Putin Nuclear Threats Risk 'Armageddon'

Anti-war groups called on the U.S. president to urgently pursue a diplomatic "off-ramp" to avert a nuclear catastrophe.

Jake Johnson ·


Democrats Push to Lift Ban on Student Loan Bankruptcy Relief

"Modernizing and clarifying the consumer bankruptcy system is long overdue," said a leader at Public Citizen, one of many groups backing the bill.

Jessica Corbett ·


Fetterman Calls Biden Marijuana Pardons and Reforms a 'BFD'

"Too many lives—and lives of Black and Brown Americans in particular—have been derailed by this criminalization of this plant," the progressive Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and Pennsylvania asserted.

Brett Wilkins ·


Judge's Ruling Puts New York Gun Control Efforts on Path Back to Supreme Court

"Judges award themselves maximal protection against guns and then tell parents around the country that they have no power to keep guns out of daycare," said one critic.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo