Omaha, NE—The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class-action lawsuit Tuesday against the Collegiate Umpires Association (CUA), an organization that provides training and certification of NCAA baseball umpires, for violating the constitutional rights of left-handed players to receive equal treatment.
According to the filing, “left-handed persons make up approximately 10% of the general population in the United States, yet left-handed players in the NCAA receive nearly 40% of all negative calls from umpires.”
Such disparities, the suit claims, “are proof positive of discriminatory practices perpetuated by CUA’s training and certification curriculum.”
According to a recent statistical analysis published by LeftHandy.org, a social justice organization that advocates for the fair treatment of left-handed citizens, roughly 35% of all called strikes in 2019 were against left-handed hitters. Likewise, nearly half of all called balls were charged to left-handed pitchers. All this despite left-handers making up a small fraction (“no more than 10%”) of the general populace.
“LeftHandy.org work barely scratches the statistical surface,” says ACLU attorney Braxton Skye Williams-Garcia. “Not only do left-handed players receive disparate treatment when it comes to negative statistics like strike-outs, but they are also entirely shut out of many positive statistics. How many double plays were turned by left-handed middle infielders in 2019? Zero. Zilch. Not a one. You’re telling me lefty hitters account for nearly 40% of strikeouts, yet not a single one was part of a double play from the 3-4 hole? It’s repugnant.”
CUA Director of Training Doug Masterson insists such disparities result from an increasing number of left-handed players in collegiate baseball and not from institutionalized bias.
“It’s actually very easy to explain. Left-handed players make up only….”
[Editor’s note: To protect an environment of safety and inclusion for all parties involved, Mr. Masterson’s comments have been selectively edited per Two Balls One Strike’s community guidelines. It is also appropriate to note that OSHA has opened an investigation into Mr. Masterson’s personal opinions and has restricted him from communicating in any official or unofficial capacity pending the investigation’s results.]
In a related report, the Hard Ball Times released a statistical analysis this morning proving that left-handed persons of the general population are almost 10 times more likely to be hit in the back by an NCAA fastball.
If the targeted and disparate violence against left-handers turns out to be true, then what Williams-Gomez considers a possible outcome will be inevitable. Perhaps their Insta post says it best:
“I’m only 25, fresh out of Harvard law, but I’m gonna make mad skrilla bringing justice to this stubborn, rebellious, and soulless underserved community.”