The Slatest

Trump Calls for Major League Baseball Boycott After It Moves All-Star Game Out of Georgia

Then-President Donald Trump catches a baseball thrown by former New York Yankees Hall of Fame pitcher Mariano Rivera on the South Lawn of the White House on July 23, 2020 in Washington, D.C.
Then-President Donald Trump catches a baseball thrown by former New York Yankees Hall of Fame pitcher Mariano Rivera on the South Lawn of the White House on July 23, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump thinks it’s time to boycott baseball. Trump called late Friday for a boycott of Major League Baseball after it announced it would be pulling the All-Star Game from Georgia as a protest to the state’s new restrictive voting law. “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.”

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Trump didn’t leave things there. The former president also said that “all of the woke companies that are interfering with Free and Fair Elections” should also be boycotted. “And in case there was any doubt who he was referring to he went on to call out a few companies by name: “Are you listening Coke, Delta, and all!”

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Trump released his statement shortly after MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred announced the decision to move the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta. “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” Manfred said in a statement. The decision, he said, was made after engaging in “thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views.” After those conversations, Manfred said he “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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Trump joined other Republicans in criticizing the league’s decision to move the All-Star Game. Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina said he’d called on his staff to draft legislation to remove federal antitrust exemption for MLB in light of the league’s “stance to undermine election integrity laws.” Others also spoke up on the issue. “Why does @MLB still have antitrust immunity?” Senator Mike Lee asked on Twitter. Former President Barack Obama, meanwhile congratulated MLB “for taking a stand on behalf of voting rights for all citizens.”

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Major League Baseball made its decision after two of Georgia’s biggest companies, Delta and Coca-Cola, sharply criticized the state’s new voting restrictions. Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a memo to employees Wednesday that the law was “based on a lie” of “widespread voter fraud” that “is simply not true.” He went on to say that similar lies are being peddled “in states across the nation that are attempting to pass similar legislation to restrict voting rights.” For his part, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey said that the “legislation is unacceptable” and amounts to “a step backward.”

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