NEW YORK (Reuters) - Major League Baseball said on Tuesday it will bolster its policies against anti-gay harassment and discrimination, imposing a code of conduct, anti-bias training and a system for reporting any complaints or problems.
U.S. professional baseball has not been the site of highly public bias cases nor has any active player said publicly that he is gay.
However, a Toronto Blue Jays player received a three-game suspension last year for an anti-gay slur.
The head of the Major League Baseball Players Association said he welcomed the effort.
“ provides an atmosphere in a clubhouse that is conducive to everyone realizing their potential,” said Tony Clark, director of players services for the MLBPA. “Not just as a baseball player, but also as an individual.”
Under the new policy, a workplace code of conduct will be posted in major and minor league locker rooms, anti-bias training sessions will be conducted and a centralized complaint system will be instituted, beginning next season.
The move comes two months after the New York Attorney General’s office said it would step up efforts to fight discrimination based on sexual orientation in the National Football League.
Earlier this year, at least three college football players said they had been asked about their sexual orientation during NFL recruitment interviews, sparking calls for the NFL to do more to address the issue.
Major League Baseball already has an anti-discrimination policy in place, added in November 2011 to the players’ collective bargaining agreement.
“Diversity is a hallmark of our sport, which has an innate ability to bring people together,” said MLB Commissioner Bud Selig.
“The people of our sport have a responsibility to act with the kind of respect and sensitivity that our game, diverse players and fans deserve,” he said.
Reporting by Francesca Trianni; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Leslie Gevirtz