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Colorado Springs teen pioneers organization to solve racial and socioeconomic inequality in baseball

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A local 16-year-old teenager, Josh Kates, founded a non-profit organization that strives to bring equality to America's favorite pastime: baseball.

Kates, a Colorado Springs native, plays baseball at Air Academy High School. He umpires local leagues and also coaches young kids.

He writes that with all the racial inequality movements, he decided "to do something to make a change." Kates adds, "I wanted to make a change in the community I was most involved with, the baseball community. Through my years of playing, I've begun to notice the overwhelming influence that money plays in baseball. To be good, you had to have and spend way too much money, and money separated the good leagues from the bad."

With the costs of baseball in mind, the teenager started Equality at the Plate Foundation. The organization provides funds to help solve racial and socioeconomic inequality in baseball.

Their mission statement says, in part, "We believe in baseball there should be equal opportunity for all. Funds are donated to low income and minority communities to help their local baseball programs."

Funds go toward promoting equal opportunities for all kids playing the sport of baseball. They collect and distribute funds in order to help provide equipment, registration fees, uniforms, field maintenance, travel, and any other costs associated with baseball.

The 16-year-old stresses that "to be good, you had to have and spend way too much money, and money separated the good leagues from the bad. That isn't okay, and I want to do whatever I can to fix it."

Colorado Springs / Local News / News
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Kerjan Bianca

Kerjan is the weekend morning anchor and reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Kerjan here



  1. 16 year old high school student that goes to Air Academy….. His parent have the money for sure. Especially to start his charity for him.

    1. The fact whether he has money or not has nothing to do with it. As he said himself he works as an umpire and baseball coach, so he makes and uses his own money to do things he is passionate about. The fact that he is using his privilege to help others is amazing and a lot more than you could probably say about yourself. At 16 he has a job, a passion, a non profit and uses his voice and spot in the community to help others and bring light to problems that need addressing.

  2. So what is he saying. Seems that money is not an object in Football, otherwise there would not be anywhere near as many black players from poor neighborhoods playing. Tell me why that is different for Baseball? All you need is a Bat, a ball, a glove and a cup (to spit in). In Football you need all sorts of special protective gear.

  3. The brainwashing of young adults is rampant. Solve “racial inequality” in baseball? You are a f*cking dumb ass. There’s a lot more to worry about sh*tsipper

    1. Racial inequality has always been an issue in baseball you uncultured, uneducated asshole. Only 7% of MLB players are black. Low income neighborhoods, especially ones with high percentages of POC are not given the same access to baseball material, teams or coaches. Theres a lot to worry about today, especially when it comes to racial inequality. It has been proven time and time again that black people are not treated equally or given the same opportunities or respect as their white counterparts. Josh Kates is using his voice to make a difference in his community. He is doing everything he can to right a wrong in our world and help others have the same opportunities he has had. Do some research and do something more productive with your miserable life than hating on a 16 year old kid who is doing more for the community than you ever will.

  4. Learning to create a crisis and spend other peoples money at such a young age! This kid will have a long and prosperous career in government.

  5. Josh Kates is a great kid. We need more like him. Good job parents, teachers, and coaches in instilling him an ethic to make the world a better place.

  6. Starting a nonprofit is not easy. You have to have a working board, a director, funds, and do a lot of writing on applications to prove that what you are doing qualifies for a tax break. You have tons on unexpected paperwork and grantor obligation.

    It’s not a walk in the park, and him doing this has zero cost to you. If his cause doesn’t vibe, don’t donate.

    Please don’t tear down someone who’s exercising social enterprise and fiscal responsibility. The people who donate to him are choosing to. If you don’t like his cause, don’t donate.

    For those lambasting this kid– how much time and effort have you put into charitable causes?

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