It didn’t take long for Washington Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton to realize he screwed up. A day after Eaton came under fire for saying minor leaguers being exploited is “for the betterment of everybody,” Eaton walked those comments back.
In an Instagram post, Eaton said he was speaking about his personal experience, and that minor leaguers “deserve better.”
The post began with Eaton saying he doesn’t believe it’s OK to exploit “anyone in any profession.” He then said minor-league players deserve “more money” and “better conditions.” He apologized if he “offended anyone in any way.”
The 30-year-old Eaton raised eyebrows Sunday after quotes emerged in which he seemed to support minor-league players getting exploited. Eaton told Kelyn Soong of the Washington City Paper complacency would set in if minor leaguers were paid. He then said that even though minor leaguers were being exploited, it’s “for the betterment of everybody.”
“I don’t disagree with [the notion] that they’re being exploited, but I think it’s for the betterment of everybody,” he adds. “I know it sounds crazy … I think there’s a middle ground … There’s ground to be made up, but I think it still should be rough.”
Minor leaguers can make just $1,100 a month depending on their level, according to the Associated Press. At Triple-A, the minimum salary is $2,150 per month.
It doesn’t appear minor-league pay is going to improve any time soon. In 2018, the House passed a bill declaring minor-league players were exempt from federal minimum-wage laws. Major League Baseball spent $1.32 million lobbying to get the bill passed.
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