“Major League Baseball made the decision that the more than half of its fans who happen to be Republicans are now disfavored, and that voter fraud is not a concern legislatures should focus on,” said Cruz at a press conference on Tuesday.
He continued, “That decision was harmful. It’s going to hurt baseball. But it also underscores that there’s no reason Major League Baseball should enjoy special subsidies, corporate welfare that no one else gets.”
The legislation targeting the MLB is only the latest tiff in growing tensions between corporations and those on the political right, particularly as it relates to the election integrity bills being introduced in states across the country.
Gov. Greg Abbott also butt heads with the MLB when he declined to throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ opening game last week.
Similarly, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick responded sharply to accusations from the Texas-based American Airlines that condemned election integrity legislation in Texas as creating “barriers to diversity, equity and inclusion in our society.”
The federal legislation proposed by Cruz would strike down certain antitrust exemptions that the MLB enjoys while other major sports leagues, such as the National Basketball Association and the National Football League, do not.
“They don’t have to play by the same rules everybody else does, and we’re standing here today to say Major League Baseball should have to play by the same rules,” said Cruz.
While bipartisan efforts on similar reforms have been made before, the highly partisan circumstances surrounding this bill will likely make it a tough sell to a Democrat-controlled Congress.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.