Rhys Hoskins and several other Phillies players are making their feelings about the MLB lockout abundantly clear on Twitter
The most common response from players this week has been to change their Twitter photo to the blank ballplayer outline that MLB had to replace player photos with due to Federal Labor Laws. During the lockout, MLB cannot use player names, images, and likenesses, so their websites have been temporarily scrubbed. It’s also the reason why the Phillies had to take down Bryce Harper’s MV3 banner at Citizens Bank Park.
Rhys Hoskins was one of dozens who made the switch:
His former teammate Andrew McCutchen, whose buyout the Phillies’ exercised last month, also changed his Twitter photo.
However, Hoskins also ‘Liked’ several tweets that lend an abundance of insight into how he (and other players) really feel. He and Phillies prospect Mickey Moniak, who also changed his photo, both liked this tweet from 2013 World Series champion, Will Middlebrooks:
Of course, Twitter likes and retweets aren’t necessarily endorsements, but it’s not hard to pick up what the players are putting down.
It’s also not hard to understand why they’re frustrated. The players’ union went to the table and the ownership/league walked away. The players didn’t initiate the work stoppage, either; only the ownership side can put a lockout into effect.
This is the ninth work stoppage (lockout or player strike) in MLB history, but the first in the age of social media. The last stoppage took place between 1994-95 when the internet was in its infancy.
For the first time, players have individual, public platforms in which to explicitly or implicitly show the world how they’re feeling and what they care about. It humanizes these athletes who would otherwise seem to be larger-than-life.
Social media is a court of public opinion, and MLB players are making one heck of a case for themselves.