The Atlanta Braves are honoring Hank Aaron by creating a fund focused on improving diversity across Major League Baseball. The $2 million fund, which will be run by the Atlanta Braves Foundation, will focus on adding more women and minorities, from on-field positions to to front office roles.
Aaron, who had a lifelong passion for driving diversity in baseball, previously said that he wanted to see more people of color get involved in the sport. The Braves and MLB look to advance his mission by providing more access and opportunities across the league.
The Braves opened the new fund by seeding an initial $1 million while the league and the players’ association chipped in $500,000 each. In a release, the Braves said that the goal of the fund was to drive equity in areas of “sports, business, education and social and racial equality.”
“We want to continue Hank’s amazing work in growing diversity within baseball now and in the years to come,” Braves chairman Terry McGuirk said in a statement. “I believe this seed money is just the beginning for this growing fund and I’m certain other companies and organizations who have worked with Hank over the years will join us and add to this call to action to develop talent and increase the diversity on the field and in the front offices across the league.”
The life of Aaron, who passed away at the age of 86, was celebrated during a memorial service on Tuesday at Truist Park. The Baseball Hall of Famer will be remembered as a trailblazer and one of the best players in the sport’s history. The 25-time All-Star also left an indelible mark on the local business community.
The Braves say they will announce additional ways that they’re honoring Aaron in coming weeks.