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MLB lockout: Why the league can’t use any player’s name, image, or likeness in any capacity

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As of early Thursday morning, Major League Baseball officially entered into a lockout. As a result, the league is not using any player’s name, image, or likeness in any capacity. So that means if you head to any MLB team‘s official website, or MLB.com, it’s going to look different than it usually does.

You can still find any teams’ roster on their respective websites, but all photos of players have been removed. Here’s what the defending World Series champions Atlanta Braves‘ roster page looks like:


MLB.com/Braves

It’s worth noting that you can still find images of the coaching staffs around the league, since coaches aren’t included in the players union. 

This is all a result of a legal issue about labor law, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said on Thursday.

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Another example of this stipulation is that teams are being forced to remove signage from ballparks that feature players.

Take the Philadelphia Phillies for example. They put up a banner in front of Citizens Bank Park celebrating Bryce Harper being named the 2021 National League MVP less than two weeks ago. As of Thursday morning, the banner was completely take down.

Another part of the league’s online presence being altered by all of this is that specific details of upcoming promotional events during the 2022 season look different. If you go to a team’s site to look at their 2022 schedule, you’ll notice that details are slim on giveaways:

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In addition, team websites were completely altered and no current news about player transactions can be found. Instead, you’ll see content on the best players in a team’s history, as well as Commissioner Rob Manfred’s letter to baseball fans that was posted once the lockout began, on every team site.

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