View Full Version : Chicago White Sox and MLB seek diversity

02-04-2002, 10:22 PM
An editorial from White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf

Through the game of baseball, people of very diverse backgrounds come together to participate in America's pastime. From hot dog vendors to home run hitters, fans to farm hands, from parking lot attendants to public relations people, secretaries to shortstops-the game of baseball has thrived through the unity of races, ages and genders. Because of the on-field diversity that has defined the growth of the game since 1947, Major League clubs have an ongoing responsibility to see that diversity mirrored in the people who are behind the scenes in support of the game.

Major League Baseball (MLB) represents a world of opportunity for large and small businesses across the country. Through the Diverse Business Partners program, which encourages minority- and women-owned businesses to participate in the procurement process for goods and services, MLB and its clubs provide an industry standard for encouraging supplier diversity. The program was initiated in 1998 under the leadership of Commissioner Bud Selig and individual club owners who recognized the league's responsibility to be a good corporate citizen-a responsibility that is taken seriously, as evidenced by our ongoing commitment to community outreach initiatives, charitable giving and civic leadership. By spreading success among businesses in our hometowns, the program allows us to strengthen relationships within our own diverse communities while other clubs are doing the same across the United States. MLB and its clubs are committed to developing and continuing new business relationships with companies that support the League's commitment to supplier diversity.

Since the inception of the Diverse Business Partners program, MLB and its 30 clubs have purchased more than $75 million in direct core business-to-business goods and services from minority-owned and women-owned businesses. In addition, the Diverse Business Partners program has complemented supplier diversity initiatives implemented by sports authorities for the construction of professional ballparks. As a result, minority- and women-owned businesses have received more than $125 million in contracts for the construction of Major League Ballparks since 1998. To date, MLB and individual clubs have spent more than $200 million through the Diverse Business Partners program.

Embracing minority communities is especially important in a city with the rich diverse history of Chicago. We have played baseball in this community for more than a century, and understand that what we do off the field is just as important to the club's relationship with Chicago as home runs and double plays. That's why the Chicago White Sox are proud to embrace this diversity program-and proud of the meaningful relationships we have developed with our minority partners over the years. We recognize that we must offer equal opportunities to large and small businesses alike, because each deserves the chance to succeed in a competitive, highly visible marketplace like Chicago.

From employing female- and minority-owned vendors for printing, construction and special projects, to front office staff, tradesmen and contractors of all backgrounds, the White Sox organization embraces diversity and its role in our organization's culture. In the Diverse Business Partners program, we are proud to have created what we believe is the leading supplier diversity effort in all of professional sports and sports entertainment. The White Sox have worked and will continue to work to encourage the success of that effort for the benefit of our team, our friends and our neighbors. In the end, everyone wins.

Jerry M. Reinsdorf
Chairman, Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls
Co-Chairman, MLB Equal Opportunity Committee