GOP senators want to punish baseball for protesting Georgia voter suppression law

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GOP Sens. Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and Mike Lee will introduce legislation on Tuesday to pull Major League Baseball's antitrust exemption.

GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Mike Lee of Utah will announce on Tuesday that they are filing legislation to punish Major League Baseball for its protest of Georgia's racist voter suppression law.

The legislation the trio of Republican lawmakers will file seeks to repeal the league's antitrust exemption. It's a move the senators appear to be making in retaliation for the for the league's vocal opposition to the recently passed Georgia law that makes it harder to vote by limiting ballot drop boxes, requiring ID to vote by mail, criminalizing handing out refreshments to voters waiting in long lines, and giving Republican state lawmakers the ability to meddle in election administration in the state.

The idea was first floated immediately after the MLB announced on April 2 that it had decided to move its 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta in protest of Georgia's law. But now, these Senate Republicans are making good on their threat by introducing the legislation.

MLB is one of a number of major corporations that have come out in opposition to the nationwide GOP effort to make it harder to vote. The recent effort was borne out of the lie Donald Trump told about a stolen election, which many in the GOP base now have not accepted. It's a lie Hawley and Cruz helped perpetuate when they voted to block President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory from being certified.

Ultimately, seeking to punish the MLB for its actions is an ironic twist of fate for Hawley, Cruz, and Lee, who have railed against so-called "cancel culture" — or the practice of withdrawing support for a person or organization over past comments they made or actions they took.

But the three men's attempt at retaliation against MLB is part of a growing trend of Republicans lashing out at corporations for condemning the voter suppression effort state GOP lawmakers are undertaking nationwide.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged companies to "stay out of politics" after corporations started coming out against Georgia's voter suppression law.

And the Georgia state House went as far as attempting to strip Delta Air Lines — which criticized the Georgia law — of a tax break on jet fuel. The effort failed, as the state Senate did not bring it up for a vote.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.