Senator Marco Rubio blasted the MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred for his Georgia election law hypocrisy and asked him a pointed question about his Augusta National Golf Club membership in a letter he issued on Sunday.
“Dear Commissioner Manfred,” Rubio wrote, “I write to ask you whether you intend to maintain your membership at Augusta National Golf Club. As you are well aware, the exclusive members-only club is located in the State of Georgia.”
“Last week, you ‘decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game’ from Atlanta because of Georgia’s revised election law,” he continued. “It is a decision that will have a bigger impact on countless small and minority owned businesses in and around Atlanta, than the new election law ever will. And one that reeks of hypocrisy.”
“Will Major League Baseball now end its engagement with nations that do not hold elections at all like China and Cuba?” Rubio added. “Will you end your lucrative financial relationship with Tencent, a company with deep ties to the Communist Party and actively helps the Chinese Government hunt down and silence political dissidents?”
“Since Major League Baseball now appears eager to use its ‘platform’ to demonstrate ‘unwavering support’ for fundamental human rights, will you cease your relationship with the Chinese Government, which at this very moment is committing genocide against the Uyghurs Muslims in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR)?”
“I am, of course, under no expectation any of this will happen,” Rubio went on. “Taking the All-Star game out of Georgia is an easy way to signal virtues without significant financial fallout. But speaking out against the Chinese Communist Party would involve a significant loss of revenue and being closed out of a lucrative market.”
“In the end, as a citizen of a free nation you, and Major League Baseball, have the right to speak out against laws in the U.S. you disagree with, even if it is on the basis of false information,” he added. “What would be truly bold, however, is if you would speak out on behalf of the voiceless who face arbitrary imprisonment, forced sterilization, coerced abortions, rape, and other horrific acts at the hands of one of your business partners. I am under no illusion that Major League Baseball will sacrifice business revenue on behalf of its alleged corporate values.”
“Similarly, I am under no illusion you intend to resign as a member from Augusta National Golf Club,” he said. “To do so would require a personal sacrifice, as opposed to the woke corporate virtue signaling of moving the All Star Game from Atlanta.”
The Major League Baseball commissioner recently ignited a heated backlash over his decision to pull the All-Star Game from the Atlanta Braves, which will lead to an estimated $100 million loss for deep blue Fulton County and Cobb County. MLB’s decision appears to have been made under corporate pressure and activists, since there have been no reports that the players lobbied for it.
The Democratic Party and the mainstream news media have pushed numerous myths about the new Georgia election law. Multiple academic studies show that voter ID does not suppress registration or turnout; voter IDs are free to those who qualify and more than 98% of adult Georgians already have them; water is allowed in voter lines (but food and water cannot be given out by electioneers, like in most states); the law expands access to voting for most residents; and 35 states already have some form of voter ID laws.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp blasted the MLB on “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Saturday for the commissioner’s decision to punish the state for its lawful decision to uphold election integrity.
“It’s really a sad day for Major League Baseball,” the Republican governor said. “As somebody that grew up playing baseball as a kid and a fan, played in high school, you know, big Braves fan — I mean, this is terrible for the organization. It’s terrible for the fans. It’s terrible for the small business owners in the metro Atlanta community, and our state that was looking forward to hosting this game and had put a lot of resources into it. All because of a big lie.”
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.