Ted Cruz wants to punish MLB with antitrust scrutiny after baseball pulls All-Star Game from Georgia

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, standing with Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., left, and Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, center, talks about legislation to end Major League Baseball’s special immunity from antitrust laws during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 13, 2021.(Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S.Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Josh Hawley (R-Neb.) have introduced a bill to remove the antitrust exemption that has been in place for Major League Baseball to subject them to existing law. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), with over 20 cosponsors, has produced companion legislation in the House.

“A corporation that happily does business with the communist regimes in Cuba and China but caves to woke CEOs who want to punish states with Voter ID does not deserve any special immunities in antitrust law,” said Sen. Blackburn. 

“Consumers benefit when businesses compete, and baseball is no different. In fact, a professional sports league should understand best of all the benefits of competition,” said Sen. Lee. “Instead, Major League Baseball has used its judicially fabricated antitrust immunity to suppress wages and divide up markets for decades—conduct that is plainly illegal, and sometimes criminal, in any other industry. We should have done this decades ago, but when billion-dollar businesses start engaging in political extortion it becomes even more pressing to end their special treatment.”

“For nearly a century, Major League Baseball has enjoyed a special exemption from antitrust laws that other professional sports leagues do not,” said Sen. Cruz. “Major League Baseball asks for your ID when you pick up tickets at will-call, but they have made it clear they oppose photo ID requirements to vote. If Major League Baseball is going to act dishonestly and spread lies about Georgia’s voting rights bill to favor one party against the other, they shouldn’t expect to continue to receive special benefits from Congress.”

“MLB and woke mega-corporations have been coddled by government for too long,” said Sen. Hawley. “For decades, the MLB has been given a sweetheart deal by Washington politicians. But if they’d prefer to be partisan political activists instead, maybe it’s time to rethink that. With their capitulation to the left-wing Twitter mob and support for Biden’s big lie about election integrity, they’ve forfeited any right to an anti-trust exemption. They must be held to the same standard as the rest of American business.”

“For decades, Major League Baseball has enjoyed a special exemption from the same antitrust laws that govern other businesses in our nation,” Sen. Rubio said. “The league has been able to escape scrutiny in part thanks to its perception as a good-faith guardian of America’s national pastime. But with its reprehensible decision to play politics and punish the State of Georgia – and countless small and minority-owned Georgian businesses – by moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta, the MLB has shown its willingness to use its market power, derived from its antitrust exemption, irresponsibly. Now, Congress is obligated to revisit this unique treatment.”

“Major League Baseball has enjoyed constitutionally questionable antitrust protections for a century, yet it has decided to act in a partisan manner by punishing the state of Georgia for completely reasonable voter integrity and election security legislation,” said. Rep. Duncan. “Commissioner Manfred’s decision was ill-advised and will cost Atlanta small businesses, many of which are minority-owned, around $100M in economic activity. Furthermore, public polling has consistently shown overwhelming bipartisan support for voter ID laws, which are the cornerstone of the Georgia elections reform bill. This is just the latest in a wave of corporate decisions to ‘Go Woke.’ If companies or organizations want to undermine efforts to ensure the integrity of our elections process, then they invite increased scrutiny of their business practices. I urge Major League Baseball to reconsider this short-sighted decision, and I urge my colleagues to stand strong against the onslaught of the Woke Left on daily American life.”

The full bill text can be found here.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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