Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) on April 2 instructed his staff to draft a bill that would remove the federal anti-trust exemption granted to Major League Baseball (MLB) after the professional baseball monopoly moved the All-Star game from Georgia as a political statement against election reforms enacted by the state’s Republican legislature and governor.
“In light of MLB’s stance to undermine election integrity laws, I have instructed my staff to begin drafting legislation to remove Major League Baseball’s federal antitrust exception,” Duncan wrote on Twitter.
“An overwhelming bipartisan majority of Americans support requiring an ID to vote, and any organization that abuses its power to oppose secure elections deserves increased scrutiny under the law.”
MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. wrote in a news release that he has “engaged in thoughtful conversations” with different voices in the baseball world and decided that the best way “demonstrate our values as a sport” is to move the All-Star game out from Georgia.
Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, signed a package of election reforms into law last month which expanded voting hours and access to early voting. The new law also requires absentee voters to provide a copy of their ID alongside their ballot, something the state had already required for in-person voters.
The reforms have become the target of left-wing criticism, including false claims by President Joe Biden about the law requiring the polls to close by 5 p.m. The bill actually expanded the voting hours to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Corporations including Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola joined the chorus, issuing statements from top executives criticizing the bill. MLB, Coca-Cola, and Delta did not respond to requests for comment.
Biden said on March 31 that he would support the MLB moving the All-star game from Atlanta in response to the election reform legislation.
“I think that today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly. I would strongly support them doing that,” Biden said. “People look to them, they’re leaders. Look at what’s happened with the NBA as well. Look at what’s happened across the board. The people who’ve been victimized the most are the people who are the leaders in these various sports and it’s just not right.”
Kemp said it was “obvious” that neither Biden nor his advisers familiarized themselves with the content of the bill.
“It is obvious that neither President Biden nor his handlers have actually read SB 202, which I signed into law yesterday,” Kemp told The Epoch Times via email on March 27.
“This bill expands voting access, streamlines vote-counting procedures, and ensures election integrity,” Kemp added.
Janita Kan, Mimi Nguyen Ly and Samuel Allegri contributed to this report.