“Get woke, go broke” has become an anthem for critics of Major League Baseball’s decision Friday to pull its All-Star Game and 2021 draft from Atlanta in protest of Georgia’s new election integrity law.
But perhaps the most condemning response to the organization’s decision is coming not from fans but from Congress.
Rep. Jeff Duncan, a Republican from South Carolina, said Friday that he plans to introduce legislation that will remove MLB’s antitrust exemption after Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the Georgia move in response to the passage of state Senate Bill 202.
Moving the All-Star Game and draft “is the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport,” Manfred said in a statement. “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”
Here is the full release from MLB. The money line from commission Rob Manfred: “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.” pic.twitter.com/3tghCUDM47
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 2, 2021
Manfred’s decision came after many on the left depicted the Georgia law — which, among other things, requires voter ID for absentee ballots — as “voter suppression.” President Joe Biden described the law as “Jim Crow in the 21st Century” and “an atrocity.”
Firing back at the MLB commissioner, Duncan announced his own plans for retaliation.
“In light of @MLB’s stance to undermine election integrity laws, I have instructed my staff to begin drafting legislation to remove Major League Baseball’s federal antitrust exception,” he tweeted Friday.
“An overwhelming bipartisan majority of Americans support requiring an ID to vote, and any organization that abuses its power to oppose secure elections deserves increased scrutiny under the law,” the congressman added.
In light of @MLB‘s stance to undermine election integrity laws, I have instructed my staff to begin drafting legislation to remove Major League Baseball’s federal antitrust exception.
— Rep. Jeff Duncan (@RepJeffDuncan) April 2, 2021
So what would revoking antitrust exemptions mean for Major League Baseball?
According to Fox Business, “MLB’s antitrust exemption has been in place since a 1922 Supreme Court decision ruled that the league is a sport and not a business.”
Antitrust laws encourage competition by “limiting the market power of any particular firm,” meaning exemptions from these laws effectively eliminate industry competition for the league.
If this exemption were to be revoked, it could promote competition in the “business” of baseball, putting an end to MLB’s monopolization.
How’s that for a curveball?
Duncan wasn’t the only Republican lawmaker to publicly condemn this “woke” decision, however.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also voiced his disdain for MLB’s Georgia move.
“Dear GOP: @MLB caves to pressure & moves draft & #AllStarGame out of Georgia on the same week they announce a deal with a company backed by the genocidal Communist Party of #China. Why are we still listening to these woke corporate hypocrites on taxes, regulations & anti-trust?”
Why are we still listening to these woke corporate hypocrites on taxes, regulations & anti-trust? https://t.co/GWToVhAZvW
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) April 2, 2021
Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas also voiced their support for revoking the league’s antitrust law exemptions, adding to the list of motivated lawmakers who may throw a wrench into the league’s politically motivated actions.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 2, 2021
MLB was given a powerful reminder about its antitrust exemption, but will this prompt Manfred to rethink his course and remember that baseball is our nation’s pastime rather than a political entity?
In light of the “woke corporate culture” that has befallen so many companies lately, it doesn’t seem likely.
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