Chicago White Sox requires COVID-19 vaccine to all minor league players

The Chicago White SoxAccording to ESPN, they have mandated COVID-19 booster shots to all minor league players. They informed them via email Friday that they would not be able “to participate” in spring train without having received the latest vaccinations.

The White Sox were the first minor league team to require vaccinations. Major League Baseball advised teams in late January that vaccines were not mandatory for minor-league players, but that they would for managers, coaches, and other staff who are regularly in contact with the players.

The White Sox sent a letter to players stating that players must send proof they have received the COVID booster vaccine and that you must show proof of vaccination to Spring Training otherwise, you won't be allowed to play. Spring training is expected to be reported to by players on February 21. Sources say that the White Sox had 100% compliance when they mandated vaccines for minor-league players last spring.

Because minor league player are not represented by a union they can be implemented unilaterally rules like a vaccine mandate. A mandate is not applicable to major league players who are on 40-man rosters. This would require collective bargaining.

A source said that the White Sox won't release minor leaguers refusing to get the vaccine. This confirms a report in The Athletic.

ESPN sources have confirmed that several minor leaguers are currently unvaccinated. Other players have not been given the COVID boosters required by the White Sox.

The Chicago White Sox released the following statement: “The Chicago White Sox will require all employees to be current on their COVID-19 vaccination status. This also applies to our minor-league athletes. This is what we believe is right to do for the well-being of all our players and staff.

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