Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) turned down an invitation to throw out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opening game on Monday, citing Major League Baseball’s decision to boycott Georgia.
The Republican governor turned down the invite in a Monday letter to Rangers COO Neil Leibman. Abbott said he is personally boycotting all MLB events because of the league’s decision to pull its 2021 all-star game and rookie draft out of Atlanta in protest of the state’s election reforms signed into law on March 25.
“Thank you for the invitation to throw out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opening game. I was looking forward to it – until 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,” Abbott wrote.
“It is shameful that America’s pastime is not only being influenced by partisan political politics, but also perpetuating false political narratives. The State of Texas was proud to help MLB host last season’s National League playoff games and the World Series in Arlington,” he continued. “However, I will not participate in an event held by MLB, and the state will not seek to host the All-Star Game or any other MLB special events.”
“This decision does not diminish the deep respect I have for the Texas Rangers baseball organization, which is outstanding from top to bottom. I wish the team great respect this season,” Abbott concluded.
Abbott’s announcement comes amid a growing wave of backlash against the MLB for its decision to pull some of its events out of Georgia. In Washington D.C., Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) is one of a handful of lawmakers leading an effort to repeal the MLB’s special exemption from federal antitrust law.
Georgia GOP Gov. Brian Kemp accused the MLB of lying about the election reforms and blasted the league for caving “to the cancel culture.” Over the weekend, former President Donald Trump called on Americans to boycott the MLB and other businesses that are attempting to “interfering with Free and Fair Elections.”
“Baseball is already losing tremendous numbers of fans, and now they leave Atlanta with their All-Star Game because they are afraid of the Radical Left Democrats who do not want voter I.D., which is desperately needed, to have anything to do with our elections,” Trump said in a statement. “Boycott baseball and all of the woke companies that are interfering with Free and Fair Elections. Are you listening Coke, Delta, and all!”
“Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views,” Manfred said in a statement. “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.”
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