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MLBPA members ‘threatened, bullied, and retaliated against’ for speaking out, lawyer claims amid union’s leadership drama

Drama within the MLB Players Association again reached a fever pitch Sunday as both sides of a tense dispute over leadership fired new salvos.

Harry Marino, the lawyer whom some MLBPA members want to replace deputy executive director Bruce Meyer, claimed players who voiced their opinions were “threatened, bullied, and retaliated against” by other players, according to The Athletic.

“It is important to remember that federal law protects every union member’s right ‘to express any views, arguments, or opinions’ and ‘to meet and assemble freely with other members.’ Players should never apologize for exercising these rights,” Marino, 33, said in a statement.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark then released his own statement, describing “engaged membership that does not bend to outside agendas” as the bedrock of the union.

“It therefore comes as no surprise that a coordinated and covert effort to challenge this foundation has troubled players at all levels of professional baseball,” said Clark, a former Mets and Yankees first baseman. “These concerns are being discussed where they should be, in clubhouses around the league. In due time, they will be resolved consistent with the traditions of this great organization.”

Marino helped minor-league players unionize during his brief tenure with the MLBPA from September 2022 to July 2023.

Sunday’s statements were the latest since a nearly three-hour Zoom on Monday resulted in a majority of players calling for the ouster of Meyer, according to ESPN. Some argued Meyer, a former trial lawyer who has served as Clark’s No. 2 since 2022, had similar ideologies as top agent Scott Boras.

Players remain discontented following a slow-moving offseason in which stars such as Blake Snell, Cody Bellinger and Matt Chapman settled for short-term deals and Jordan Montgomery remains unsigned. All four players are Boras clients.

Meyer sent a letter to the players on Thursday, according to The Athletic, contending that “the rivalry between agents and the demonization of players based on who their agent is presents the single biggest challenge to the union’s ability to fulfill its longstanding history of unity and accomplishment.”


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