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Players Trust becomes inaugural sponsor of The King Center’s “ReThink” podcast

Players Trust becomes inaugural sponsor of The King Center’s “ReThink” podcast

Mychal Givens, Chris Broussard and Jane Elliot to be among featured guests on podcast launching in September

NEW YORK, Sept. 22, 2021 – The Major League Baseball Players Trust today announced it will be the inaugural sponsor of a weekly podcast produced by The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (The King Center). The podcast, ReThink, will provide a forum to discuss ways to counter increasing hate and divisiveness in our society.

Set to launch later this month, the podcast aspires to continue the legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King through constructive discussion of ideas and strategies to reverse destructive trends and foster the positive change necessary to unify our communities.

“We are honored to have the Players Trust as our inaugural sponsor for The ReThink Podcast. It is critical that individuals, organizations, and corporations all come together to help uproot white supremacist thinking and dismantle unjust and inhumane systems in this country that perpetuate racial and economic inequities,” said King Center CEO, Dr. Bernice A. King.

Dr. King continued, “As my father Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, ‘Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.’ We are committed to use this platform to speak truth to power and provide the necessary tools and strategies to prepare this next generation of leaders to create a just, humane, equitable and peaceful world.”

Over 12 episodes, co-hosts Cameron Friend and Farris Watkins will explore a variety of topics, including global women’s rights, the criminal justice system in America and the rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans. Among the scheduled guests are Dr. Bernice A. King, Cincinnati Reds reliever Mychal Givens, FOX Sports analyst Chris Broussard and diversity educator Jane Elliot.

“I’m honored to be a guest on ReThink,” said Givens. “It’s so incredibly important to have this type of platform that not only honors Dr. King’s philosophies, but empowers others to use his methodologies in local communities.”

Friend oversees The King Center’s Leadership Academy, an intensive program that helps 13- to 19-year- old students develop into global citizens who inspire nonviolent social change across the world. Watkins, the great-niece of the late Dr. King, is a 2019 graduate of Spelman College and a 2021 graduate of Gupton- Jones College of Funeral Services. She works alongside her father, Willie A. Watkins, as a junior executive in their family business, Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home. A gifted singer and orator, she previously hosted the youth portion of televised King Holiday Observance Commemorative programs.

“Dr. King’s nonviolent activism to advance equality is taking on a new sense of urgency today,” said Amy Hever, Director of the Players Trust. “We hope the discussions on the podcast will remind millions of people around the world that social change is possible if we all work at it together peacefully.”

Episodes of the “ReThink Podcast” will be available to listeners every Wednesday on Apple Podcasts and Spotify, with a video version posted on the King Center’s YouTube channel.

In accordance with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s nonviolent philosophy and methodology, The King Center provides education and training, supports advocacy, and fosters research. The Center is also a global destination, resource center, and community institution, attracting over one million individuals and families from all over the world each year. The King Center’s goal is to create a society where injustice ceases and love prevails, which is especially needed during periods of crisis.

25th Anniversary of Players Trust to be highlighted on ESPN and FOX during 2021 All-Star Week

25th Anniversary of Players Trust to be highlighted on ESPN and FOX during 2021 All-Star Week

Players Trust partners with DonorsChoose, Good Sports and Protect the Heroes Campaign to help support Denver communities

NEW YORK, July 8, 2021 – The Major League Baseball Players Trust will celebrate its 25th anniversary by highlighting Players’ charitable efforts through the years in television segments scheduled to air during the Home Run Derby on ESPN and the All-Star Game on Fox.

In addition to the primetime segments, the Players Trust, which was the first 501 (c) 3 charitable foundation in professional sports run by the Players themselves, has launched its national “REEQUIP” campaign in collaboration with charitable partners DonorsChoose, Good Sports and Protect the Heroes Campaign.

In Denver, the “REEQUIP” campaign will provide support to communities in need of school supplies, sporting equipment and behaviorial health assistance by quickly deploying products and resources to teachers, coaches and healthcare workers. Over $250,000 has been committed to this campaign.

During the Home Run Derby, ESPN will air a 60-second segment recognizing the work of Players Trust over the years and will highlight a local beneficiary of the “REEQUIP” campaign, Athletics & Beyond. The segment will relive a recent moment when student-athletes from the Montebello neighborhood in northeast Denver were surprised by a visit and donation from Colorado Rockies reliever Mychal Givens and former Rockies outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds.

The second segment, which will air during FOX’s broadcast of the All-Star Game, will be a 30-second spot with a voice over by Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, featuring the Players Trust partners and their wide range of assistance to international and domestic communities.

“The Players Trust has helped communities—both near and far—in their moments of need over the last 25 years,” said Amy Hever, Director of the Players Trust. “I am inspired by the commitment and support of so many Players to so many causes, and I look forward to working with this generation of Players as they build on that legacy of caring and giving over the coming years wherever challenges arise.”

Additionally, Denver’s Black community will be a beneficiary of the Players Trust partnership with the Players Alliance and the Alliance’s “AMPLIFIED Grant Fund. ” Black-owned businesses and nonprofits are among organizations eligible for funds.

OneTeam Partners, a Players Trust business and philanthropy partner, will be a supporting sponsor for the “CAMP” youth clinic, hosted by the Players Alliance during All-Star week. On All-Star Monday, several former MLB Players will join kids from the surrounding area at the historic Sonny Lawson Field in Denver, providing baseball gear and training in skills that will help them grow both on and off the field.

For over 25 years, the Players have been committed to making a difference in their communities by contributing time, money, and celebrity to help those in need and encouraging others to also get involved. Over the years, Major League Players have supported a wide range of organizations and programs, granting tens of millions of dollars. Currently, the foundation focuses its giving efforts under the following pillars: youth development, education, health and wellness, military service, advocacy, and relief and rescue.

Since 1996 the Players Trust has:

  • Distributed more than $25 million to over 1250 charities;

  • Responded to crises, domestically and internationally, with both financial and in-person support to aid in the immediate and long-term recovery efforts in areas struck by national disasters;

  • Contributed over $1 million to charities in places that Major Leaguers call home;

  • Provided instruction to inner city youth in baseball and important life-skills through clinics;

  • Come together to raise awareness for communities and populations in need.

Follow the Players Trust on Twitter (@MLBPlayersTrust) and Instagram (@mlbplayerstrust).

Players Trust announces recipients of 2021 Michael Weiner Scholarship for Labor Studies

Players Trust announces recipients of 2021 Michael Weiner Scholarship for Labor Studies

The Scholarship Honors the Life and Work of the MLBPA’s Late Executive Director

NEW YORK, JUNE 8, 2021 – The Major League Baseball Players Trust today announced four recipients of the 2021 Michael Weiner Scholarship for Labor Studies, marking the seventh year it has provided support to aspiring worker advocates in the name of the former MLBPA executive director.

Each recipient will receive a $12,500 scholarship from the Players Trust to assist in academic costs for the 2021-2022 school year.

Weiner, known for his keen intellect and plain-speaking, congenial demeanor, joined the MLBPA as a staff attorney in 1988 and in December 2009 succeeded Donald Fehr to become the union’s fourth executive director. He held the position until November 2013, when at age 51 he passed away following a 15-month battle with an inoperable brain tumor.

“Mike Weiner understood that how and what we do to support ourselves greatly determines our health and happiness,” said Diane Margolin Weiner, wife of the late executive director. “We all must work to ensure that there is dignity and respect for every laborer, a safe workplace, and a living wage. The many recipients of the MLBPA’s Scholarship for Labor Studies are committed to this effort. Mike’s family is very grateful to the Players for honoring Mike’s life in this meaningful way.”

The following scholars have been selected for their achievement and commitment to pursuing careers dedicated to improving workers’ lives:

Georgia Decker – Fordham University School of Law Decker was initially inspired by her mother’s efforts in organizing her own workplace. Graduating in May 2022, she has already made a positive impact through her work with the Laundry Workers Center (LWC) in New York City. There she helped undocumented deli restaurant workers organize, while also working alongside labor lawyers fighting for the workers’ back pay. She hopes to represent workers as a either a union attorney or an employment attorney.

Katelyn Deibler – American University Washington College of Law Deibler has made it her priority to help educate immigrant workers on the benefits of labor organizing. Determined to halt the spread of misinformation on unionizing, she has worked with the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project (NIWAP) to identify cases where undocumented female workers have been exploited by their employers. Upon her graduation in May 2024, she hopes to spend her career working on immigration policy changes that would further protect immigrant workers.

Victor On-Sang, Jr. – University of Miami School of Law A witness to the power of organized labor through his wife’s experience as a healthcare worker throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, On-Sang, Jr. was motivated to do his part to keep the labor movement alive and strong. At Florida International University, he is doing research to help unionize adjunct professors while continuing to hone his skills as a worker advocate. On-Sang, Jr. will graduate in May 2023 and hopes his career helps to build strong alliances and solidarity among all working people.

Shanelle Staten – Southern University Law Center A daughter to parents that have spent their lives helping others, Staten believed she was destined to do the same. Her interest in the labor movement was sparked during her fellowship at the Peggy Browning Fund where she worked to secure compensation for exploited mentally ill children at a Texas treatment facility. Upon graduation in May 2023, she hopes to work in compliance and special litigation within a firm, company or specifically the National Labor Relations Board.

“Michael Weiner spent his career successfully ensuring that the needs and interests of athletes were at the forefront within the vibrant economy of baseball,” said Amy Hever, Director of the Players Trust. “In honoring his life and legacy, the Players Trust proudly continues to invest in the futures of talented young professionals who are committed to workers right issues.”

The Michael Weiner Scholarship for Labor Studies program launched in July 2014 to commemorate the life and work of Weiner by recognizing and supporting the efforts of people dedicated to improving the lives of workers – characteristics that were embodied by Weiner in his personal life, his studies and throughout his 25-year career with the Players Association.

Scholarship recipients are selected by a committee made up of some of those who were closest to Weiner, both professionally and personally. Serving on the committee along with Margolin Weiner are MLBPA Contract Administrator Cindy Abercrombie, Assistant General Counsel Bob Lenaghan, former General Counsel David Prouty and former Chief Operating Officer Gene Orza.

To date, the Players Trust has distributed more than $300,000 in scholarships to future labor leaders through the program. For more information on this year’s scholarship recipients and the legacy of Michael Weiner, please visit the Michael Weiner Scholarship page.