Rhys Hoskins among Phillies to change profile picture in solidarity with Players Association

Rhys Hoskins was among numerous players to change their profile picture on social media amid Major League Baseball’s lockout. (Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

Stumble upon a major leaguer’s Twitter account right, and you may be a bit confused by the profile picture.

Numerous players have changed their avatars on social media to a silhouette of a ballplayer’s headshot throughout the day on Thursday. Several Phillies have joined in, the first of which being Rhys Hoskins. While the photos may seem a bit mysterious or confusing at a glace, just know there’s a purpose behind the trend. The members of the Major League Baseball Players Association are using these profile pictures to show solidarity amid Major League Baseball’s lockout.

The image the players are utilizing stems from recent changes made to Major League Baseball’s website. When the collective bargaining agreement expired on Wednesday night at midnight, MLB enforced a lockout, which is a type of work stoppage that is initiated by ownership. Essentially, the owners shut down the operations between the league and the players until a new CBA is agreed to. Upon locking out the union, the home page of MLB’s website was scrubbed of any mentions of current players on a 40-man roster. On pages where current players are listed, MLB removed the players’ real headshots and substituted them with the silhouettes.

A letter to fans from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was placed on the forefront of the site and remains featured.

“Simply put, we believe that an offseason lockout is the best mechanism to protect the 2022 season,” Manfred wrote in his letter. “We hope that the lockout will jumpstart the negotiations and get us to an agreement that will allow the season to start on time. This defensive lockout was necessary because the Players Association’s vision for Major League Baseball would threaten the ability of most teams to be competitive. It’s simply not a viable option. From the beginning, the MLBPA has been unwilling to move from their starting position, compromise, or collaborate on solutions.”

The Players Association disputed the claim by Manfred that the lockout was necessary in a statement released shortly afterwards.

“This shutdown is a dramatic measure, regardless of the timing. It is not required by law or for any other reason,” the statement read. “It was the owners’ choice, plain and simple, specifically calculated to pressure Players into relinquishing rights and benefits, and abandoning good faith bargaining proposals that will benefit not just Players, but the game and industry as a whole.”

Players began changing their profile pictures on their social media account upon realizing that their headshots were removed on the league’s site. Yankees pitcher Jameson Taillon, Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove and Mets pitcher Trevor Williams were among the first players to make the switch on Twitter.

Hoskins, his team’s union representative, was the first Phillies player to change his Twitter profile picture. Outfielder Mickey Moniak followed suit on the same app, and pitcher Connor Brogdon did so on his Instagram profile.

Former Phillies Andrew McCutchen and Nick Pivetta were among other players to change their photo on Twitter.

A number of players currently on the Phillies 40-man roster also shared the union’s statement on the personal social media accounts. Hoskins and Garrett Stubbs retweeted the statement, and Donny Sands posted a screenshot of it on his Twitter account.

Hoskins, Moniak, Sands, Jean Segura, Luke Williams, Matt Vierling, José Alvarado, Scott Moss and the newly-signed Corey Knebel all reposted the Players Association’s Instagram post of the statement to their personal Instagram stories.

Acts showing unity like this is part of the Players Association’s strategy during the lockout. The union insisted that it intends to return to action under a new CBA that benefits all and will get there using strategies it has done since it was established in 1966.

“We have been here before, and Players have risen to the occasion time and time again — guided by solidarity that has been forged over generations,” the union wrote in its statement. “We will do so again here.”


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  1. Riv

    December 5, 2021 at 10:48 am

    Was hoping Hoskins gets traded

    • Andrew

      December 11, 2021 at 10:47 am

      For whom???

  2. Wbramh

    December 6, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    Mickey Moniak going with a silhouette seems appropriate since he remains a shadow off a major leaguer.

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