Historically, and at the time of this study’s project, many minor league baseball players in the United States were paid below the federal minimum wage, which has been recently circulating in the media and has been a source of ongoing controversy (McDaniel, 2022). This article is a write-up to the first author’s end-of-term course project, which was supervised by the second author. The objective of the present study was to perform a historical and philosophical analysis of the public debate on minor league pay as well as describe ethical arguments within the debate. This should guide future debates on labor rights and fairness within sport, including professional leagues. Methods for a single-artifact descriptive case study (March 2021) were used to describe opposing views on the issue of minor league pay in baseball, which were then analyzed using historical and philosophical perspectives. The case study material was a 2019 popular press article of journalism covering both sides of the debate. Two modes of qualitative research were used: qualitative critical analysis and discourse analysis. Qualitative critical analysis entailed comparing discourse within the case article to information within one peer-reviewed research article, which presented historical and jurisprudence discourse and research on why Major League Baseball team-owners have been allowed to legally pay minor league players below the federal minimum wage cut-point. Fourteen parsimonious concepts from one undergraduate course on physical activity perspectives were used to describe and analyze data extracted vis-à-vis the qualitative critical analysis, followed by a discourse analysis of the extracted data. We discuss the study results, then present recommendations for future research. We conclude with a reflection from the first author about her project experience.
Napolitano, Mia Isabella and Thomas, Jafrā D.
"Should Minor League Mean Minor Pay: A Student Analysis of the Public Debate,"
International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities: Vol. 15:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/ijurca/vol15/iss1/4