Key Republican senators have launched a push to take away Major League Baseball’s antitrust exemption in response to the league’s decision to pull its All-Star Game from Atlanta.
On Friday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced his decision that the league would remove its 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta in response to the state of Georgia’s decision to reform its voting laws.
“Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, the Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views. I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.”
Representative Jeff Duncan (R, SC) was among the first to highlight baseball’s antitrust exemption as an area to target in retaliation for the league caving to liberal politicians and social justice activists.
“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,” Duncan wrote in a tweet.
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.
— Rep. Jeff Duncan (@RepJeffDuncan) April 2, 2021
GOP Senator Mike Lee of Utah captioned Duncan’s tweet with a message that said it was time for the government to stop granting “specific privileges” to “favored corporations.”
Why does @MLB still have antitrust immunity? It’s time for the federal government to stop granting special privileges to specific, favored corporations—especially those that punish their political opponents. https://t.co/k3GIZuGYHB
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) April 2, 2021
Senator Ted Cruz (R, TX) responded to Lee and Duncan by saying, “EXACTLY right.”
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 2, 2021
Cruz later tweeted a list of MLB’s corporate sponsors. Many of which were among those who pressured the league to pull the All-Star Game from Atlanta.
“Do all of them oppose voter ID?” Cruz tweeted. “Are all of them willing to be the woke enforcers of the corrupt Democratic Party? And do all hate the 75m who voted for Trump?”
These are MLB’s corporate sponsors, who pressured to pull the All Star game out of Atlanta.
Do all of them oppose voter ID?
Are all of them willing to be the woke enforcers of the corrupt Democratic Party?
And do all hate the 75m who voted for Trump? https://t.co/cuOXYFO9Gv
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 3, 2021
According to the Hill:
Baseball’s antitrust exemption dates back to a 1922 Supreme Court decision, and under the 1998 Curt Flood Act passed by Congress, MLB players maintain the same rights as other professional athletes under antitrust laws, but other aspects of the sport are exempt, including franchise relocation and broadcast negotiations.
Other professional sport leagues, including the NFL and NBA, do not have this exemption.
The voter reform law at the center of the controversy is geared towards preventing voter fraud.
As Breitbart’s Warner Todd Huston reports:
The new law was praised by Heritage Action Executive Director Jessica Anderson, who said, ‘Reforms to make voter ID requirements and early voting access more consistent statewide, modernize the state’s voting rolls, and ensure robust oversight of voting and elections will protect Georgia’s votes and make the state a model for the rest of the country.’
However, liberals have attacked the state’s new law aimed at tightening the overly loose rules governing state elections that sent the state into chaos during the 2020 elections. The left is riling supporters by mischaracterizing the law as ‘voter suppression’ and even calling it ‘white supremacy.’
MLB has not said where the 2021 All-Star Game will be held.