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Thursday, May 25, 2023

Black Entrepreneurs Blocked from Buying 4.6 Acres of Land to Develop Modern Day Negro Baseball League

Cleo Arrington and Glenn Draughn

Nationwide — Meet Cleo Arrington & Glenn Draughn, two African American entrepreneurs who submitted a proposal to buy a local baseball field in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, but were blocked from the local school board.

They submitted a proposal to the Nash County School Board at a board meeting in 2021 to buy the Old Rocky Mount Baseball Field. The plans were to use this site for an Independent Developmental Baseball League.

The league would offer an outlet to continue playing baseball to African American baseball players that have completed their high school or college eligibility and/or those which may have encountered academic hardship, been under recruited or may not have been afforded the opportunity to be a part of a high school or college team. In addition to an entrepreneurship training program which would engage participants with a working knowledge of the process of becoming a self-employed entrepreneur.

Arrington comments, “The process of purchasing this land was tainted and compromised from the very beginning, flawed with conflict of interest and possible bid rigging. Dr. Steve Ellis, Superintendent of the Nash County School Board, Rod Malone, Council for the Nash County School Board, William (Bill) Sharpe 4th district Chair of the Nash County School Board and Shannon Davis, Director of facilities of the Rocky Mount School District played key roles in obstructing us from purchasing this property.”

On June 10, 2022, they filed a formal complaint with the North Carolina State Board of Education, North Carolina Attorney General, North Carolina FBI, United States Attorney General and the North Carolina State Auditor to investigate this matter.

On August 18, 2022, and February 6, 2023, they sent a follow up to inquire the status of our filing as of today we have not had a reply from either party. In addition, on March 7, 2023, they filed a formal complaint with Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice (refer to their website, ALeagueofourOwn247.com, for an audio transcript and PDF attachments).

Looking For a Home Site for the 2024 Season

Because of not being able to secure the deal, Arrington and Draughn are still seeking to identify a home city that would be interested in accommodating their Independent Developmental Baseball League starting with the spring and/or fall of 2024. They are looking for a location where the local community, surrounding communities and the business community at large would embrace this baseball league as their very own.

This league is designed to provide family entertainment, and so they are looking to play an eighty-game spring schedule May through August and/or a forty-game fall schedule October through November. Six teams, three games per day, twenty-four players per team. Consisting of the best local, national and international baseball players, this league would bring great economic impact to the entire region.

Field Requirements:

Seating Accommodations, Concession Stand, Field with Lights, Dugouts, Scoreboard
Meeting Rooms, Press Box, PA System, Groundskeeper and Parking.

For more information and/or for press inquiries, contact (205) 264-1468 or visit the official website at ALeagueofourOwn247.com