Prominent Republicans are not backing down from a tussle with Major League Baseball and other large corporations over the League’s decision to move the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta over Georgia’s new voting law.
The mounting criticism from Republican lawmakers comes in the wake of former President Donald Trump calling on Republicans and conservatives to “fight back” against big businesses’ “woke cancel culture” moves.
Republicans are speaking out about what they see as hypocrisy over the new law that the GOP says protects voter integrity, but opponents say is nothing more than voter suppression.
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On Friday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred stated that, “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. Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”
In a memo to employees on Wednesday, Delta CEO Ed Bastian called the law, “unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values.”
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincy also put out a statement that read, “Let me be crystal clear and unequivocal, this legislation is unacceptable.”
In his statement, President Trump also called out several other large corporations including JP Morgan Chase, Cisco, UPS, and Merck.
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In addition to Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) calling for the revocation of MLB’s anti-trust status, other outspoken Republicans are calling out what they see is hypocrisy on the part of not only MLB, but many of the corporations who have criticized the Georgia law.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott refused to throw out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers home opener over “what has turned out to be a false narrative about Georgia’s election law reforms. He added in a tweet, “It is shameful that America’s pastime is being influenced by partisan politics.”
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) took a double shot at MLB and woke corporations.
Paul argued that if requiring ID for voting is racist, that perhaps the average price of a ticket at Yankee Stadium, which is $145 is also discriminatory.
In an interview on Fox News, Paul took a page from the Trump statement on boycotts.
“My point is if they want to boycott us, let’s boycott them. It’s the only thing that will teach them a lesson. If Coca-Cola wants to only operate in Democrat states and wants only Democrats to drink Coca-Cola, God love them. We’ll see how they do when half the country quits drinking Coca-Cola and half the country quits using Delta.
They’re all woke, but they’re doing something against the financial interest of every business. Publicly traded businesses usually don’t get involved in politics because it hurts their bottom line.”
Senator Marco Rubio asked MLB Commissioner Manfred in a letter made public on Monday if he would resign his membership to Augusta National Golf Club, located in Georgia.
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After much speculation on the future direction of the Republican Party, is this an issue that will bring the GOP together?
In The Hill, Republican strategist Scott Jennings says this may be what he calls a “cultural flashpoint,” and may unite Republicans that otherwise disagree on things like trade and immigration.
Jennings said, “Republicans see this as another one of these cultural flashpoints, a ‘whose side are you on?’ moment. The Republicans largely defined themselves the last few years not really around policy but mostly on jumping on these moments. From that perspective, it makes a lot of sense.”
In the background of all this, Republicans are traditionally seen as pro-business, Chamber of Commerce types, at least until recently.
Led by President Trump, many in the conservative movement have been advocating a more populist stance.
As of Tuesday, MLB has decided to move the All-Star game from Atlanta, which is a majority-black city, to Denver, which is 76% white.
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