GOP lawmakers target MLB antitrust immunity following decision to remove All-Star Game from Ga.
UPDATED 10:28 AM PT – Sunday, April 4, 2021
Major League Baseball’s decision to pull their All-Star Game from Atlanta is now coming with repercussions from top Republican lawmakers.
On Friday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the decision was in response to Georgia’s new voter reform. The move came amid growing calls from left-leaning activists to boycott businesses and corporations in Georgia that did not disavow the voter laws.
Now, the decision could cost the league it’s decades old immunity.
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) took to social media first, announcing his staff was drafting legislation to remove MLB’s federal antitrust exemption.
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
Back in 1922, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that antitrust law did not apply to Major League Baseball, because baseball is not considered interstate commerce.
This exemption does not apply to other professional sports like the NFL or the NBA.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) agreed with Duncan, saying “it’s time for the federal government to stop granting special privileges to specific, favored corporations. Especially those that punish their political opponents.”
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
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said Lee was “exactly right,” suggesting the two senators would be working together to bring legislation to the floor.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 2, 2021
He even pointed to the league’s official sponsor list, questioning if they all opposed voter ID laws, or were disregarding the 75 million people who voted for President 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
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) maintains the new law will ensure elections are protected from voter fraud. He criticized MLB in a press conference on Saturday, saying the decision to pull the game was an example of cancel culture and the league caving to Democrats’ criticism.
“Major League Baseball caved to fear and lies from liberal activists,” Kemp stated. “They ignored the facts of our new election integrity law and they ignored the consequences of their decision on our local community.”
Georgia Republicans have even passed an amendment to revoke a tax break on jet fuel for Delta Airlines, after its CEO called the new law “unacceptable.”
Republicans said the law is being misrepresented by Democrats, and businesses are being manipulated into political arguments.
MLB has not specified where they will relocate the summer game to.