Major League Baseball continues to operate with an antitrust exemption courtesy of a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. That exemption is especially relevant for how MLB officials establish the conditions and terms that govern the relationship between major league teams and their minor league affiliates. Recently, the formation of advocacy groups such as Minor League Advocates has led to several lawsuits against MLB’s violations of state labor laws through the terms of their minor league player contracts, which pay players well below state minimum wage levels. These lawsuits are posing challenges to the legal validity of the antitrust exemption. This article will examine why MLB has been able to maintain this exemption over the decades, despite periodic challenges. Further, this article seeks to place this in a political context which identifies the ways in which this conflict has been shaped by class antagonism. Though previous scholars have analyzed this struggle in legal terms, we approach it from a critical political perspective.
Bass, G. Nelson III and Cox, Ronald W.
"Class (AAA) Conflict: 100 Years of Exploitation,"
Class, Race and Corporate Power: Vol. 11:
1, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/classracecorporatepower/vol11/iss1/1