Ifwants to yank the rug out from under Atlanta, then the league should pay, as far as House and Senate Republicans are concerned. Republicans introduced bills last week to eliminate MLB’s antitrust exemption and allow localities to seek damages from the . Rep. Buddy Carter, Georgia Republican, called MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s decision to in a show of opposition to the hotly contested Georgia election law “a spineless decision based on lies.”
SEE ALSO: Ex-MLB head Fay Vincent: Commissioner made ‘serious mistake’ by moving
“What this would do is to allow the local communities to recoup some of the costs that have been lost by hardworking Georgians andthat have suffered the consequences of this,” said Mr. Carter. He sponsored the Act on Fox News.
The measure “would make it unlawful for MLB to cancel or relocate a team competition event that is not a part of theunless it is because of a pandemic, a natural disaster, inclement weather, or disaster declared by the federal or state government,” said his office in a statement.
to eliminate MLB’s antitrust exemption, saying the league had abused its special treatment by capitulating political pressure on the left.
The league has been able to escape scrutiny in part thanks to its perception as a good-faith guardian of America’s national pastime,” said Sen. Marco Rubio,. “But with its reprehensible decision to play politics and punish the State of Georgia – and countless small
and minority-owned Georgian businesses – by moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta, the MLB has shown its willingness to use its, derived from its antitrust exemption, irresponsibly. In addition to Mr. Rubio, Republican Sens. Marsha Blackburn, , Josh Hawley, and Mike Lee introduced the Senate antitrust bill. At the same time, more than 20 House Republicans signed onto the companion legislation.
The Georgia election Game actually hurt minority communities, given that nearly 30% of Atlanta businesses are Black-owned, while Denver is 76% White and 9% Black.last month drew a flood from Democrats who called it a voter-suppression measure and “Jim Crow 2.0.” At the same time, Republicans argued that the bill imposed reasonable safeguards, requiring identification for absentee ballots and reducing the number of drop boxes from pandemic levels while expanding early voting days. Foes said moving the All-Star
“You have nine times as many Black-owned businesses in Atlanta as in Denver,” said Alfredo Ortiz, the Job Creators Network president. “You have, I think, ten times as many employees employed in these Black-owned businesses in Atlanta versus Denver.”
Mr. Cruz said that MLB asks fans to produce ID when they pick up tickets at the will-call desk, “but they have made it clear they oppose photo ID requirements to vote. Suppose Major League Baseball will act dishonestly and spread lies about Georgia’sto favor one party against the other. In that case, they shouldn’t expect to continue to receive special benefits from Congress,” Mr. Cruz said.
The Washington Times has reached out to MLB for comment.
More than 100 companies, including Nordstrom, Starbucks, and Target, signed a Black Economic Alliance letter published Wednesdaythey oppose “any discriminatory legislation or measures that restrict or prevent any eligible voter from having an equal and fair opportunity to cast a ballot.”
The MLB was not among the signers.
Proposals toMLB’s antitrust status have been floated before. In 2001, House and Senate Democrats sought to eliminate the exemption, which is unique in professional sports, after voted to shut down two teams, an effort that ultimately failed.
Mr. Lee said that the MLB “has used its judicially fabricated antitrust immunity to suppress wages and divide up markets for decades—conduct that is plainly illegal, and sometimes criminal, in any other industry.”
“We should have done this decades ago, but when billion-dollar businesses start engaging in political extortion, it becomes even more pressing to end their special treatment,” he said.