A lifelong fan of the sport speaks out…
It was all over the news last Friday – the political and sports media alike. In what was regarded as a bombshell decision, Major League Baseball announced they are moving this year’s All-Star Game out of Atlanta, due to well… politics. We are truly living in a world where everything is being politicized from boxed rice to children’s books, to even The Bachelor. However, I thought that America’s pastime was safe from the clutches of the far left.
Don’t get me wrong – I obviously love politics. It is my passion and I intend to eventually make it my career. However, for America to have some semblance of a healthy culture, there are things that must not be political – and baseball, a game that is as quintessentially American as the Fourth of July and apple pie, should be one of them. For over 150 years the sport welcomed all Americans and non-Americans alike, regardless of their partisan affiliation, or lack thereof.
I’ve been a life-long baseball fan and in particular a Yankees fan. I have stuck by the sport during the good times and the bad. I was devastated when my beloved Bronx Bombers lost the 2004 American League Championship Series to the rival Red Sox in heartbreaking fashion. Five years later I celebrated as the Yankees avenged their past defeats to win the 2009 World Series, one final championship for their longtime owner George “The Boss” Steinbrenner. I personally witnessed the primes of many all-time greats in the sport: Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Mariano Rivera to name a few. I watched as MLB’s credibility took a hit during its several steroid scandals and the recent Astros cheating scandal. Baseball is more than just a game to me; it is something that made me proud to be an American. On top of that, it served as a much-needed escape, from hyper-politicized everyday life. There was something wonderful in being able to turn off the news during a tough media cycle and change the channel to an MLB game, drink a beer, and relax for a while.
And now, the sport’s administrators decided to take this wonderful thing away from all of us. Citing the recent enactment of an election integrity law that passed both houses of the Georgia legislature and was signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp (R), the MLB front office decided that the state must be punished. Commissioner Rob Manfred declared, in a statement released Friday, April 2: “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.” This allegedly came after “engaged in conversations” with players and team officials – so pretty much, he flat-out admitted that he gave in to the pressure of the “woke” mob. What’s even worse is that it seems that MLB has also fully bought into the big lie of “voter suppression” continually pushed by Stacey Abrams (who lost the 2018 Governor election to Kemp) and other far-left activists. Manfred continued by saying that the league “fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.” Here’s a thought – maybe before a multi-billion dollar corporation speaks to the media they should do their research on what the law they seek to demonize actually does, and not just spew the left-wing narrative word for word.
The manufactured fallout over this Georgia voting law is yet another example of how the blatantly partisan agenda emanating from our mainstream media often runs completely counter to reality. Notice that when “journalists” and Democratic politicians discuss the alleged “suppression” that supposedly comes from these election integrity laws they never seem to cite any evidence to back up their claims. Just like with, say lockdowns, they just repeat the same tired talking points over and over again and smugly expect that the gullible American people will go along – and to their credit, this strategy is working like a charm.
Former Georgia State Representative Alveda King (D while in office) stated that the Georgia law is “not an effort for voter suppression.” King who is a civil rights activist and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “marched…and fought” for the voting rights of African Americans who were, prior to the passage of federal Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s and 1970s (largely championed by Republicans) stifled across the south, including in Georgia, by state Democratic politicians. However, the Republican-created current Georgia law, contrary to what the media wants us to believe, can not be compared by any reasonable person to the Democrat-created Jim Crow laws which actually suppressed votes. Also, it’s not at all surprising that the media ignores that these terrible historical laws were all written and enforced by Democrats, many of whom were extremely liberal, and not “conservatives” as the ashamed left likes to pretend. And no, the parties did not magically “switch” – this has been debunked time and time again.
In direct contrast to the racist Democratic Georgia voter law of the past, the current Republican law actually fights against disenfranchisement by making sure the vast majority of Georgians, regardless of ethnic background and party, who vote legally, do not have their votes canceled out by illegally cast and fraudulent ballots. As King put it, “right now we have got some very serious voting irregularities that have to be addressed,” and “without appropriate regulations, you do not have the fair voting process.” According to Governor Kemp, the law which he signed “makes it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” by “replacing an arbitrary signature match on absentee ballots by mail with the voter ID, which is free in Georgia.” The law, completely contrary to the leftist narrative, also expands opportunities for early voting, specifically on the weekends. Of course, there are deep blue states who have similar voting laws on the books, some such as New York and President Biden’s home state of Delaware even have those that are more restrictive than the one Georgia just passed. However, MLB would not dare move their headquarters from New York City to protest because they’ve decided that they’re partisan Democrats now, and it’s therefore inconvenient for them.
Now, let’s zero in on the particular choice of language Manfred used in his statement. When the word “values” is specifically used by these “woke” corporations in justifying their politically motivated decisions, they make it clear as day that they are choosing one side over the other. There really is no other valid explanation. Taking a leftist political stand seems to be the default move this day and age. You would think that not saying or doing anything would be the safest course of action for a company in any “political” situation, but no – big business is yet another institution that has fallen to the radical left. The “woke” mob is relentless, and once they have you cornered, there is no letting them go. A study by the Harvard Business Review confirmed this. Participants were found 25% less likely to buy from a company with conservative values, but neither less nor more likely to buy from one with a staunchly progressive stance, compared to a completely apolitical company. In other words, a business with overtly left-wing views is viewed the same by the general public as one with ambiguous or non-publicized politics. Furthermore, the study also found that while Democrats were extremely likely to boycott a “conservative” corporation, Republicans did not seem to care either way. All of this illustrates two things. Firstly, our current culture has made people expect all businesses, regardless of what product or service they actually provide, to be some degree of “woke” leftist. And secondly, this phenomenon while widespread is driven almost exclusively by an outspoken few on the left.
Most people on the right are quick to call this growing trend in the corporate world “cancel culture.” After all the same Georgia law was admonished by other large corporations such as Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines, who like MLB brass seem dying to prove that they’re in the “woke” elitist club. But I disagree. What we’re seeing actually goes way beyond the so-called “cancel culture.” Things that we have long taken for granted as nonpartisan such as sugary chemical-filled beverages, cheap flights with lousy accommodations, and, well, the entire sport of baseball are now going on the record saying that half of the people who purchase their product hold morally reprehensible views. And don’t get me started on this “private companies can do whatever they want nonsense.” Alienating half of your consumer base is bad business, full stop.What MLB did is not on par with individual athletes taking a stand. This is the entire league unilaterally choosing to side with the Democrats over the Republicans and it will certainly have adverse economic repercussions for baseball. Many of us conservatives who are plainly speaking, fed up with being otherized by rich elitists who claim to be our “moral betters,” will simply not spend any money on tickets or official MLB merchandise. Senator Rand Paul via Twitter called to attention the blatant hypocrisy of MLB doing business with China, which has a Communist genocidal government, but boycotting Georgia. It also makes me sick that Commissioner Rob Manfred, a practicing Catholic, has not even said one word about New York following its passage of its gross law allowing late-term abortion two years ago. What’s certain is that baseball’s front office will certainly see a hit when they desperately need to bounce back following last year’s COVID-shortened season. As someone who still considers baseball to be my favorite sport, it pains me to say that MLB going “woke” might soon cause them to go broke.