MLB umpire Angel Hernandez filed a lawsuit against the league on Monday alleging racial discrimination, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The Cuban-born umpire claims in the suit he has been skipped several times to work a World Series despite high evaluation marks and that he’s never been promoted to permanent crew chief, only receiving the honor on a temporary basis.
In fact, the Enquirer reports that the suit alleges MLB has only promoted one minority as a permanent crew chief ever and that only one non-white umpire has worked a World Series since 2011.
Hernandez, 55, has been a major-league umpire since 1993 and has worked in just two World Series, in 2002 and 2005. He says in the suit that he applied for a permanent crew chief position four times, failing to earn the position each time.
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“The selection of these less qualified, white individuals over Hernandez was motivated by racial, national origin and/or ethnic considerations,” the lawsuit, per the Enquirer, says.
Hernandez also claims he received strong performance reviews from MLB until 2011, when Joe Torre took over as MLB chief baseball officer.
The suit mentions some bad blood between Hernandez and Torre stemming back from 2001 when Torre was manager of the Yankees.
“Torre took to the media to insult him and call into question his skill as a Major League umpire,” the lawsuit says. “Though it may seem as if Major League Baseball’s problems with Hernandez begin and end with some personal animus Torre and some other individuals in the Office of the Commissioner may have towards Hernandez, an overview of how Major League Baseball has treated minorities such as Hernandez shows a much deeper and more troubling trend.”
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Hernandez also filed two discrimination charges in June with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Hernandez is seeking back pay and unspecified compensatory damages.
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