Tampa Bay Rays' ace pitcher Blake Snell said that he would not play in a shortened 2020 season if it means he has to take a pay cut. Major League Baseball is working on a plan to have an 82-game season that would start in July, but that plan includes a 50-50 revenue split between the owners and the players.
The players have already agreed to take a prorated salary based on the number of games they play, but the owners say that it is not enough to make up for the reduced revenue because many of those games will likely be played without any fans.
The union is expected to reject the proposal and counter with one they proposed in March.
Snell took to his Twitch channel to voice his displeasure with the owners' proposal. He told his followers that he is not willing to take the field for a reduced salary.
"No, I gotta get my money. I'm not playing unless I get mine, OK? And that's just the way it is for me," Snell said. "Like, I'm sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher, and the amount of money I'm making is way lower. Why would I think about doing that?"
Snell pointed out that he would be risking his life, adding that if he played, he would see just 25% of his $7 million salary, and that's before taxes.
"Bro, I'm risking my life," Snell said. "What do you mean it should not be a thing? It should 100% be a thing. If I'm gonna play, I should be getting the money I signed to be getting paid. I should not be getting half of what I'm getting paid because the season's cut in half, on top of a 33% cut of the half that's already there -- so I'm really getting, like, 25%. On top of that, it's getting taxed. So imagine how much I'm actually making to play, you know what I'm saying?"
His comments quickly went viral, with many fans suggesting he was being greedy for refusing to play. Snell clarified his remarks in a text message to the Tampa Bay Times, saying that his concerns were less about money and more about the health and safety of the players.
"I mean honestly it's just scary to risk my life to get Covid-19 as well as not knowing and spreading it to the others,'' Snell wrote. "I just want everyone to be healthy and get back to our normal lives cause I know I miss mine!"
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