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Why there will be changes to Beyond the Box Score in September

BtBS has made a glaring omission. It’s time we corrected it.

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

Major League Baseball, like the United States, is facing an inflection point at this moment in history. I’ve written about it before, and I will probably write about it again. At the same time, the simple fact is that there’s only so much a white woman like me can say. I’ve said it. I’ve said it over and over again.

Beyond the Box Score is a tremendous website with talented writers. Beyond the Box Score presently has an all-white writing staff. Those two sentences are fundamentally incompatible. I am proud to write here, to have my words published and read here, and yet at the same time I am ashamed that a site - this site - which so rightly and fervently defends workers’ rights and social justice is attempting to meet this moment with an all-white staff. It’s wrong at any moment, but especially now. We should do better, and so we will.

At the same time, whilst it’s easy enough to say we need to do something about this, it’s harder to actually do that something. I’ve spoken with managing editor Kenny Kelly, one of the best in the business, and we’re going to take some steps to fix this.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be stepping aside here periodically at Beyond the Box Score. Instead, you’re going to be reading words from some of the best Black writers and creatives around baseball. We’re doing this with two goals in mind. First, it is my hope and belief that when the higher-ups at Vox see the sheer breadth of talent among these remarkable writers, they will make the right decision and start making offers to bring them aboard as staff writers.

And second, because it’s the right thing to do. You, my readers, have blessed me with a platform and a place to write words about important things. I ask you - I beg you - to grant that same gift to the writers we will be featuring, all of whom are more talented and deserving than I am. They are worthy of your attention, especially now.

I do want to make a couple of things clear. First of all, none of these guest writers will be doing free labor. We may not have the budget to pay them what they’re worth, but all of them will be paid or, if they prefer, will have their pay donated to a not-for-profit or mutual aid fund of their choice. Second, this is not charity. These are writers who deserve to be here, who are talented and brilliant, and who any baseball publication should be honored to have among their digital pages.

I’m excited about the lineup of writers we’ve assembled. I hope you will be also. I hope, most of all, that they make you think.