Sunday was Mother’s Day, which means Major League Baseball players across the country wore pink items and used pink equipment in support of breast cancer awareness. But by banning certain players from using bats with unapproved pink logos, MLB once again showed that breast cancer awareness can be more about corporate greed and less about charitable endeavours.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, some players were barred from using breast cancer awareness bats because they were deemed to be in violation of MLB’s exclusive deal with Louisville Slugger. The players affected included two players whose mothers are breast cancer survivors, Nick Markakis of the Orioles and Trevor Plouffe of the Twins.
The bats, which can be seen below, were produced by MaxBat. However, Louisville Slugger is the “MLB official licensee” of pink bats, meaning that any pink bats that appeared in a game can only have the logo of Louisville Slugger.
Even though the MaxBat bats are not pink, the pink label was considered to be in violation of Louisville Slugger’s exclusive deal.
Hillerich & Bradsby, Louisville Slugger’s parent company, gained this exclusive deal by making what was termed “a sizeable donation” to the Susan G. Komen foundation, another MLB partner.
Players using bats from other companies were allowed to use pink bats, but those bats could not have any distinguishing logos. According to Passan, MaxBat could potentially be fined by MLB just for shipping the bats at all.
Another angle. These babies are sweet! Maybe the guys can use them in bp and auction off for research. twitter.com/MaxBatBaseball…
— MaxBat (@MaxBatBaseball) May 10, 2013
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