Will Baseball's Next Commissioner Be an LGBT Ally?
Major League Baseball will vote on Thursday to determine a successor for Commissioner Bud Selig, according to a high-ranking MLB executive with direct knowledge of the hiring process who spoke with USA TODAY Sports.
They are Tim Brosnan, MLB's executive vice president of business, Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, and the MLB's chief operating officer Rob Manfred, who is seen not only as the frontrunner for this vote, but he also has a record in welcoming wider diversity in the league.
Selig promoted Manfred to COO at the end of the 2013 season. Last month, Manfred announced that Major League Baseball would enter into a partnership with Athlete Ally, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that, according to its website, “provides public awareness campaigns, educational programming and tools and resources to foster inclusive sports communities.” The announcement came in concert with the naming of former MLB outfielder Billy Bean as Major League Baseball’s first Ambassador for Inclusion. Bean, who came out as gay in 1999, was present for the announcement.
“We are forming a strategic alliance, the purpose of which is to provide education and training on respect and inclusion in our workplace,” Manfred said on July 15. “Athlete Ally will work not only with players, but also with front office personnel on these issues. Major League Baseball and Commissioner Selig are extremely proud of the efforts that we have made in the area of inclusion."
The 79-year-old Selig is scheduled to stay on as commissioner until early 2015, after which he will conclude his 22-year tenure. He is expected to remain in baseball in a limited capacity.