Thursday, December 1, 2022
Against all odds, millionaire Steve Kuhn and billionaire Tom Dundon work hand in hand as Kuhn is appointed Chairman of Professional Player Relations.
Kuhn and Dundon who we once thought would never work together and were competing against each other in their respective pickleball ventures with Major League Pickleball and the PPA Tour, are now working cohesively as their entities have merged. Steve Kuhn will also continue to serve as Chairman of the Board for MLP.
“I am extremely excited to take on my new role as Chairman of Professional Player Relations at the PPA,” said Steve Kuhn. “Enhancing player quality of life and helping make their experience more joyful are goals I am passionate about. I am thrilled to help us continue to prioritize our greatest asset: players.”
Kuhn jumped on board tenfold as he is now the Chairman of Professional Player Relations for the PPA. Areas of focus for Kuhn will include improving pro player experience, on and off court player professionalism, player advocacy including their well being, rights and equality. He will also be "setting industry standards and introduce protective measures through a pro player handbook," the PPA announces in the Hannah Johns article.
We understand that Steve Kuhn is wanting what is best for the players, but the VIBE is that the PPA acquired MLP and they are running the show. Did Kuhn do what was best for his MLP players by integrating with PPA? What will Dekel Bar, Zane Navratil and other DUPR sponsored players who have been playing the APP predominately do? Will they sign with the PPA and stick with their MLP/DUPR sponsorship or will they take less pay with the ability to continue to play the APP Tour. It looks great that Steve Kuhn is now getting more involved with the PPA Tour, but why? Was that a peace agreement decided in the merger so it doesn't look like PPA is in control, all the while still trying to prevent the top players from playing the APP Tour? MLP and APP worked together for most of 2022 to band together against the PPA. How roles have reversed. He will also continue to serve as Chairman of the Board for MLP. To be clear, the PPA and MLP are still independent of one another (at the moment) owned by separate individuals who are working together to promote the other and try to make a better experience for professional players. Wouldn't the better experience for professional players be to let them decide where they want to play and when? As the tours are getting more television contracts and more money being poured in by large companies, the fight for top players is cut-throat. We don't think it's personal, it's just business.