Reacting to Major League Baseball’s decision to withdraw the All-Star Game from Atlanta because of Georgia’s election-integrity law, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declined to throw out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opener.
Abbott said Monday he won’t take part in any Major League Baseball events, and Texas won’t host the All-Star game.
“Major League Baseball adopted what has turned out to be a false narrative about the election law reforms in Georgia, and, based on that false narrative, moved the MLB All-Star game from Atlanta,” he said in a statement.
“It is shameful that America’s pastime is not only being influenced by partisan political politics but also perpetuating false political narratives,” he said.
Abbott said the decision “does not diminish the deep respect I have for the Texas Rangers baseball organization, which is outstanding from top to bottom.”
On Friday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement announcing the withdrawl of the All-Star Game from Atlanta that the league’s “values” are at stake, charging the Georgia law discriminates against minorities.
Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who signed the bill, reacted to the announcement, charging Major League Baseball “caved to fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies.”
“This attack on our state is the direct result of repeated lies from Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams about a bill that expands access to the ballot box and ensures the integrity of our elections,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Georgians – and all Americans – should fully understand what the MLB’s knee-jerk decision means: cancel culture and woke political activists are coming for every aspect of your life, sports included,” said Kemp.
“If the left doesn’t agree with you, facts and the truth do not matter.”
Meanwhile, last Tuesday, Major League Baseball announced a huge deal with China’s biggest tech company, Tencent, to stream 125 games this season, including the All-Star Game. Tencent, which boasts more than 1 billion active users, also has deals with the NBA, the NFL and the NHL.
Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., said on Twitter he’s instructed his staff to begin drafting legislation to remove Major League Baseball’s federal antitrust exception.
The Atlanta Braves organization, which was hosting the All-Star Game, issued a statement saying it is “deeply disappointed by the decision.”
“Unfortunately, businesses, employees, and fans in Georgia are the victims of this decision,” the statement said.
The three-day All-Star Game event was expected to generate between $37 million and $190 million in economic impact for the Atlanta area and its businesses, according to Cobb County Finance Director Bill Volckmann.
The Braves statement regarding the moving of the MLB All-Star Game: pic.twitter.com/0Iapm3eIre
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 2, 2021
Abrams, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for Georgia governor but since has become a prominent voting-rights activist, also was “disappointed” by the decision but said she was “proud” of MLB’s “stance on voting rights.” The newly elected far-left Democratic Sen. Rafael Warnock of Georgia also expressed disappointment.
The MLB announcement came after President Biden endorsed moving the All-Star Game, calling the Georgia law “Jim Crow on steroids.”
In statements to media, Biden has repeated the false claim that the new law prohibits food and drink at polling places and mandates the polls close at 5 p.m. The Washington Post fact-checker on Tuesday gave Biden its maximum five “Pinocchios” for his statements. Biden repeated the claims, nevertheless, in an interview Thursday with ESPN.
The Georgia law requires proof of identification but it also expands the number of early voting days, and it continues to allow voters to cast absentee ballots without an excuse. The law allows observation of ballot counting and bars prohibits ballot harvesting.
Many Democrats contend requiring voter ID is racist, insisting such laws suppress the vote among minorities.
But Candace Owens, a conservative activist and author, said Monday that any corporation “telling you that Voter ID laws are racist is run by white supremacists.”
“Black people know how to get ID,” she wrote on Twitter. “Pretending we are too stupid to figure out how to get to the DMV is an insult and speaks volumes about what Democrats truly think about us.”