The Oakland Athletics have apologized after a photo of the paltry, unappetizing food they were serving up to their minor leaguers surfaced on social media this week.
A tweet from an account advocating on behalf of minor league ballplayers showed A's farmhands were given sad-looking bread-and-cheese sandwiches with a scoop of cole slaw in a styrofoam container. Another pic showed a questionable tortilla wrap lightly filled with a few pieces of chicken and what looks to be red peppers.
A's president Dave Kaval responded with an apology on social media on Tuesday night, saying he learned of the pathetic postgame spreads several weeks ago, and the team had since fired the apparent third-party vendor that was serving them.
"This was totally unacceptable," Kaval said on Twitter. "When we found out several weeks ago we terminated the third party vendor. We apologize to our players, staff, and coaches. We will redouble our efforts to provide the best options for our team at every level."
Harry Marino, director of Advocates for Minor League Baseball, the group behind the embarrassing photos, said he appreciated Kaval's prompt reply and vow to do better regarding meals, but said it was far from an isolated incident.
"Each and every day, I hear directly from players about the myriad ways in which they are being mistreated," Marino told Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com. "While players are too scared to speak publicly, for fear of retaliation, their stories need to be heard."
For many users on social media, the jarring pictures conjured memories of the infamous Fyre Festival fiasco of May 2017. One of the lasting images of the doomed concert series on the Bahamian island of Exum showed a gross salad and bread-and-cheese sandwich inside a foam container.
The food flap comes amid the broader struggle over minor league baseball, which has become a prime target of baseball's billionaire owners in their undying efforts to cut costs. The folding of several teams last season amid the pandemic prompted strong backlash from players, and emboldened calls for better conditions and compensation for minor leaguers.