Lawmakers from both parties on Friday expressed disappointment in Major League Baseball’s decision to pull the all-star game from Georgia over an election law Democrats have slammed as “suppression,” with some Republicans even calling for retaliation.
Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) called MLB “pathetic” for “caving to the lies of the left” in a tweet, joining calls from many online conservatives angered over the decision by declaring, “Boycott the MLB.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) took aim at the MLB for a recent deal with China, asking, “Why are we still listening to these woke corporate hypocrites on taxes, regulations & anti-trust?”
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), emulating Georgia GOP lawmakers who stripped a tax break from Delta over their criticism of the new law, ordered his staff to draft legislation “to remove Major League Baseball’s federal antitrust exception,” which Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said he would co-sponsor.
Even Georgia Democrats vocally outspoken against the law expressed sadness about the decision, with voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams stating she was “disappointed” – while laying blame on Republicans – adding, “I respect boycotts, although I don’t want to see Georgia families hurt by lost events and jobs.”
Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), another critic of the law, urged businesses to protest the law “not by leaving Georgia but by coming here and fighting voter suppression head on,” calling the move “the unfortunate consequence of these politicians’ actions.”
The move by MLB comes after Delta, Coca-Cola and other major companies based in Georgia denounced the new election law, which scales back mail-in voting, makes it illegal to give food or water to people waiting in line to vote and increasing the power of the GOP-led legislature with respect to elections at the expense of election officials.
“Stacey Abrams’ leftist lies have stolen the All-Star Game from Georgia,” said Georgia House Speaker David Ralston in a statement, reflecting a Republican argument that Democrats’ label of the law as “voter suppression” is misleading because it expands early voting times.
361. That’s how many bills have been proposed in 47 state that would restrict ballot access, according to the Brennan Center.