Feb 12, 2022 - Sports

Chicago White Sox to require COVID vaccines for minor league players

White Sox logo. Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Chicago White Sox are mandating all minor league players receive a COVID-19 booster shot, becoming the first team in MLB to issue a requirement, ESPN reports.

Driving the news: The team said that players who do not comply "will not be able to participate" in spring training, according to a copy of the letter obtained by ESPN.

  • Vaccines are not currently required for other teams' minor league players, but managers and coaches as well as staff that come into contact with players must also be vaccinated.

Between the lines: Teams can implement a vaccine mandate for minor league players because they are not represented by a union.

  • Vaccine mandates for MLB teams' 40-man rosters would need to be collectively bargained with the MLB Players Association.

What they're saying: The team said in a statement to ESPN that they are requiring all of their employees "to be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccination status."

  • "This requirement extends to our minor-league players as well. We believe this is the right thing to do to protect the health and well being of all of our players and staff across the organization."
Go deeper