MLB Umpire Files Title VII Suit

Can you be unpopular or even bad at your job and still be discriminated against? The answer may be yes; we will have to wait and see how the recently filed discrimination lawsuit against Major League Baseball develops.

Angel Hernandez may be one of the most unpopular umpires in the Major League today. He has been in the middle of several controversial calls in his career, adding to his poor reputation among fans and players alike. Despite his unpopular status, the evidence being presented in support of his racial discrimination suit against the MLB and commissioner, Rob Manfred, is compelling.

Hernandez has been a major league umpire since 1991, taking a full-time position in 1993. The Cuban-born umpire has worked two World Series and served as temporary crew chief during two seasons.

Since 2000, every umpire promoted to crew chief has been white, and only one minority umpire has worked a World Series since 2011. These numbers are surprising among a league sporting an all-time high number of minority players this season. While player diversity is growing, only 10 of the 92 MLB umpires are black or Hispanic. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

The suit claims that, despite high marks on evaluations, Hernandez has been passed over several times for a spot as permanent crew chief and chances to work the World Series. It also asserts that “the selection of these less qualified, white individuals over Hernandez was motivated by racial, national origin, and/or ethnic considerations.”

Hernandez filed his lawsuit for employment discrimination on Monday, August 15, 2017. He is seeking back pay and unspecified compensatory damages. As this case progresses through litigation, we will continue to update this matter.

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