Stop what you’re doing and head to MLB.com, seriously, head there real quick. What’s happening over here is totally wild. The end of the collective bargaining agreement, and beginning of the lockout, has turned the website into something you’d see on the internet in 1996.
No photos, no videos. Player portraits have been removed, and every story on the site is pivoting to no longer talk about active players. The league explained the change in a post Thursday morning.
“Until a new agreement is reached, there will be limitations on the type of content we display. As a result, you will see a lot more content that focuses on the game’s rich history. Once a new agreement is reached, the up-to-the minute news and analysis you have come to expect will continue as usual.”
The reasoning behind this is that without the CBA in place MLB can’t legally use player likenesses through photos. So it’s stripped everything out of the site and (for now) replaced it with the MLB logo. It remains to be seen what exploring “the game’s rich history” will look like, but I also expect they’re probably working all that out today.
In response to MLB removing the player images the players themselves are showing solidarity on social media. Many have chanced their profile pictures on Twitter to generic outlines of players, matching the lack of images on the website.
MLB players are beginning to remove their Twitter avatars now that the lockout has started.— Boardroom (@boardroom) December 2, 2021
This comes in response to MLB removing all player images from its website this morning.
(h/t @CespedesBBQ) pic.twitter.com/ukhluRNaAZ
With the labor dispute playing out on the internet, as well as the negotiating table, it’s going to be really interesting to see how this all progresses.