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Pritzker apologizes for saying MLB players shouldn’t bargain

“I want to apologize for leaving the impression that baseball players shouldn’t have the right to bargain,” Pritzker said. “I absolutely support that right, and I should have made that more clear.”

Gov. J.B. Pritzker apologized for his comments about major league baseball players’ right to bargain.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker apologized for his comments about major league baseball players’ right to bargain.
Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Gov. J.B. Pritzker apologized for criticizing baseball players for bargaining over their salaries during talks with management on how to get the coronavirus-delayed season under way.

Pritzker faulted players on Tuesday, saying “I realize that the players have the right to haggle over their salaries” but adding “I’m disappointed in many ways that players are holding out for these very, very high salaries and payments during a time when I think everybody is sacrificing.”

At his briefing on Wednesday, he said “I want to address something that I said yesterday, regarding baseball and baseball players.”

“I want to apologize for leaving the impression that baseball players shouldn’t have the right to bargain, to protect their health and safety,” Pritzker said. “I absolutely support that right, and I should have made that more clear.”

Players agreed in March to accept prorated shares of salaries during a shortened season as part of a deal that guaranteed them service time if no games are played.

Owners on Monday approved a proposal for an 82-game season. Concerned about losing money if games are played without fans, owners approved asking players to base their salaries on a 50-50 split of revenue. Players say that amounts to a salary cap and they will never agree to that framework.

Pritzker is a member of the family that owns Hyatt. Forbes has estimated his net worth at $3.4 billion.