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Volume 24 No. 159

Leagues and Governing Bodies

MLB yesterday distributed the details of its new social media policy to players, a measure addressed for the first time for major leaguers in the five-year CBA signed by the league and MLBPA last November. Player activity on social media immediately prior to and following games had been governed by league rules regarding electronic communications at ballparks, and still will be as players remain prohibited from using social media beginning 30 minutes prior to game time until after each game. But the new policy also outlines several specific areas of prohibited conduct regardless of when it happens, including posts that use MLB marks and intellectual property without permission, disparage umpires, condone harassment, discrimination or violence, are obscene or sexually explicit, or divulge proprietary information. The social media rules for players are similar to those distributed last year to league and team front-office personnel and managers, which have also been updated. MLB, however, is still encouraging players to be active on social media, and sent a memo with the new policy to players aiming to keep the rules from being misinterpreted. "While having a social media policy is important to protecting the interests of everyone involved in promoting the game, we hope that you will not view this policy as a blanket deterrent to engaging in social media," the memo reads in part. "MLB recognizes the importance of social media as an important way for players to communicate directly with fans."