The Fascinating Story of Major League Baseball's Players Union Stimulated by the Death of Jim Bunning

Jim Bunning, the former major league baseball star and U.S. Senator who died on Friday at age 85, was a union leader before he entered politics. In the 1960s, when team owners controlled almost every aspect of players’ lives, Bunning was a fighter for baseball players’ rights and a driving force in challenging management’s prerogatives. From almost the start of his major league career, Bunning was active with the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), serving as the American League player pension representative and as a member of the union’s executive board for many years.   He helped transform MLBPA from a weak organization into what is now the most powerful labor union in the country.

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Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
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