Tag Archives: Exploitation

‘It’s also a job’: Former minor leaguers suing MLB over paltry wages, often below poverty level

In this June 3, 2007, file photo, US college player Aaron Senne of Missouri rounds second base after hitting a solo home run in an NCAA Regional baseball game. Senne and former minor-league players in each of the 30 Major League Baseball monopolies including Toronto Blue Jays are suing the MLB cartel, alleging violations of federal wage and overtime laws in a case some legal observers suggest has significant merit. | AP Photo/L.G. Patterson

In this June 3, 2007, file photo, US college player Aaron Senne of Missouri rounds second base after hitting a solo home run in an NCAA Regional baseball game. Senne and former minor-league players in each of the 30 Major League Baseball monopolies including Toronto Blue Jays are suing the MLB cartel, alleging violations of federal wage and overtime laws in a case some legal observers suggest has significant merit. | AP Photo/L.G. Patterson

Alan Scher Zagier, Associated Press | July 10| ST. LOUIS — Like many young baseball players, Aaron Senne dreamed of fame and fortune when he signed his first contract as a Miami Marlins’ draft choice after a record-breaking college career at Missouri.

Reality as a low-level minor leaguer was far different: vending machine dinners, bug-infested apartments and a paltry salary with an equivalent hourly wage less than what fast-food workers make.

Senne and former minor league players in each of the 30 big league organizations are suing Major League Baseball, alleging violations of federal wage and overtime laws in a case some legal observers suggest has significant merit. They are seeking class-action status on behalf of the estimated 6,000 ballplayers who toil each summer in outposts stretching from Bluefield, Virginia, to Bakersfield, California, as well as an unspecified amount of back pay. Continue reading

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Soccer slavery: Fighting for the lost football kids

The fight against illegal trafficking of young African footballers: some of Europe’s richest football clubs have been implicated. It is a fight that is far from over – and one that FIFA recently brought to light through the sanctioning of FC Barcelona and the club’s exploitation of young players.

By Marie Louise Albers, Paris/Genève

Jean-CLaude Mbouvin, founder and director of Foot Solidaire | Marie Louise Albers

Jean-CLaude Mbouvin, founder and director of Foot Solidaire | Marie Louise Albers

The phone vibrates in his breast pocket. Again. It is the fourth time in the last half hour, and this time Jean-Claude Mbvoumin feels compelled to answer. He apologizes, pulls the chair slightly away from the little coffee table where we sit, and lifts the phone to his ear.

“It is Jean-Claude,” he says in French, while a concerned father from Guinea identifies himself at the other end of the line. The Guinean man recently sent his son to a try-out in Europe, but now the father has not had contact with his son for several days, and he does not know where in Europe his son is. Jean-Claude promises to look into it and asks him to call back later. Continue reading

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Football, neoliberalism and politics

british football fans

Nathan Bolton (June 12) – I often feel I’m in a very small minority on the left when it comes to football. I support England at international tournaments, I’d sometimes rather go to a game than a meeting and I don’t see the whole sport as a meaningless distraction from making revolution.

Even so, I’ve always felt that politics and football couldn’t mix. Now I’m beginning to think this may not be completely true. Continue reading

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Elites use World Cup to solidify power: Analyst

2014 FIFA World CupPress TV has conducted an interview with Harry Brown, an author and lecturer at the School of Media, Institute of Technology, in Dublin, about mass demonstrations in Brazil against the Copa de mundo da FIFA Brasil 2014 2014 FIFA World Cup. This will be the 20th FIFA World Cup, an international men’s football tournament that is scheduled to take place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July 2014. It will be the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition, the previous being in 1950. Brazil was elected unchallenged as host nation in 2007 after the international football federation, FIFA, decreed that the tournament would be staged in South America for the first time since 1978 in Argentina, and the fifth time overall.

The following is an approximate transcript of the interview, which however forms only part of an interesting discussion with a number of other guests. For the full video discussion, click here: Elites use World Cup to solidify power: Analyst

Press TV: The game of soccer, or football depending on where you live, has turned into this multi-billion dollar business, from the millions and more recently the tens of millions that are being paid to their players in terms of their salaries. Has money affected this sport? Continue reading

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Children are something you sell…

FC Barcelona trains a number of kids each year in its football academy, La Masia | La Masia, FC Barcalona's youth academy in Spain by hiytel/Flickr

FC Barcelona trains a number of kids each year in its football academy, La Masia | La Masia, FC Barcalona’s youth academy in Spain by hiytel/Flickr

By Lars Andersson , Kristian Boye

Major European clubs and anonymous investment funds are fighting across cities, countries and continents over football’s new gold – talented minors.

Football has become a billion dollar industry with astronomical turnovers. An increasing number of people want a part of its glamorous world of money, power and honour, dazzling billions of people around the world.

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Thousands of children have been traded already

All Over Press Photo

All Over Press Photo

By Lars Andersson , Kristian Boye

UPDATED: FIFA has punished FC Barcelona for trading children. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. The trade of minors is standard practice in European football – and has been for years. Now, for the first time since the sanctions against the Spanish club were issued, FIFA responds to enquiries regarding the case.

Updated 23 April 2014, first edition published 9 April 2014:

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MLSE settles sexual abuse suit involving Ballard out-of-court

Woman alleged eight years of sexual abuse – Out-of-court settlement saves company from PR nightmare after 22 sexual abuse lawsuits against Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. Continue reading

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The other ball boys and girls

The child workers for the World Cup

BY DOMHNALL Ó COBHTHAIGH·

The young workers employed in the sweatshop factories of sporting goods companies across the globe don’t have the opportunity to play sport; their lives are ground down by slave labour. Behind the ‘stinging play’ there is the stingy pay. Continue reading

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Legacies: Lives lived / past progressive – Curt Flood

Curt Flood, outfielder of the St. Louis Cardinals, poses in Tampa, Fla., during spring training on May 16, 1965. (AP Photo)

(Feb. 2) – CURT FLOOD, the all-star centerfielder who was the first major league baseball player to challenge the owners’ control of the game and paved the way for free agency, died January 20 in Los Angeles at the age of 59. He died of pneumonia related to the throat cancer which struck him last year.

Flood spent most of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he was considered the finest-fielding outfielder in an era which included Willie Mays. Continue reading

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