LOS ANGELES (AP) — Leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee have asked baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to explain the impact of potential legislation stripping the sport’s antitrust exemption from covering the sport’s relationship with minor league players.
Sen. Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat who chairs the committee, and Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican who is the ranking minority member, sent the letter Monday and asked Manfred to respond by July 26 to a series of questions that could be a prelude to proposed legislation further limiting an exemption created by a 1922 Supreme Court decision.
“Your answers will help inform the Senate Judiciary Committee’s analysis of the necessity of this century-old exemption,” said the letter, also signed by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, and Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah.
The letter is the next step after a similar request for information the four senators sent last month to an advocacy group for minor leaguers. The executive director of the nonprofit Advocates for Minor Leaguers has recommended Congress enact legislation nullifying the application of the exemption to minor leaguers.
“We look forward to providing detailed information to the committee regarding baseball’s limited antitrust exemption and how it has provided franchise location stability at the major league level, maximized the availability of minor-league baseball for fans and quality employment opportunities for aspiring major leaguers,” the league said in a statement.
Senators asked about the potential impact of repealing 2018 legislation exempting minor league players from federal minimum wage and overtime laws — the Save America’s Pastime Act — and whether the antitrust exemption played a role in MLB’s decision in 2020…