On December 16th, we were made aware of the decision by Vox, our parent company, that all California SB Nation sites will see hundreds of contributors let go in the early part of 2020 as a result of the California Assembly Bill 5.
As a result, Mile High Hockey will not post any work today, in solidarity with our friends in California, as will many sites around the network.
Essentially laying off over 200 people at 25 SB Nation sites right before the holidays has been bad enough, but the way this was handled by Vox was unacceptable. These people were paid for their work and had been doing it for years, and for them to be told basically through social media was awful to see.
Yesterday, Pension Plan Puppets posted an article on the change we can hopefully expect to see moving forward. It speaks to the business model of SB Nation and what this state law could mean for the rest of us. I highly encourage reading it because it is both optimistic and a little saddening at the same time, which is a lot like a hockey fandom. [PPP]
Raw Charge - SB Nation’s Tampa Bay Lightning site - wrote a more personal letter to its readers, and we at MHH share their sentiments. [Raw Charge]
I, personally, am quite angry with what happened and how it happened. There was a clear warning from September about what was going to happen, and the way it was handled made me feel heartbroken for my colleagues and embarrassed for the site I very proudly write for.
As Alan wrote at Raw Charge, the current business model is flawed in a way that it exploits workers. And as Katya wrote at Pension Plan Puppets, there is an opportunity here for said business model to change and improve. I hope it happens because there are a lot of people here who treat their work with the passion and time of a full-time job on top of their already full-time lives.
But at the same time, there are those who treat this as a hobby and they should be able to keep doing so. This is how SB Nation was founded and closing this door shuts out a lot of people whose voices are extremely valuable and important to hear.
We don’t know where this change will lead, but I hope that we can still be a place where everyone can enjoy their fandom together.
Note from Tom: We will be covering today’s game in a minimalist way and have things back to normal tomorrow.