Major League Baseball is the latest league to fall out of favor with Republicans after pulling the All-Star Game and draft out of Atlanta in response to Georgia’s new GOP-sponsored voting laws.
Morning Consult’s Alex Silverman reports that Republicans now have a less favorable view than Democrats of all four major U.S. sports leagues.
The article states that MLB’s net favorability rating among Republicans fell 35 percentage points, from 47 points in mid-March to 12 points at the end of last week.
“New data from Morning Consult Brand Intelligence, which tracks consumer attitudes, indicates that MLB’s net favorability rating among Republicans plummeted from 47 percentage points in mid-March to just 12 points at the end of last week, following the league’s decision to relocate its events,” the article reads. “Net favorability is calculated by taking the difference between the share of respondents with a positive opinion of the league and the share with a negative opinion.”
OutKick’s Bobby Burack reported earlier this month that MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark said that players were ready to discuss moving this summer’s MLB All-Star Game and that he had suggested that the GOP-sponsored election reform bill is racist against black people.
“You need an ID to pick up tickets to attend a baseball game. Or to get a beer inside once you’re there,” Clay Travis tweeted in response to the news that the game would be relocated. “But MLB is moving the All-Star game because you need an ID to vote? This is pure insanity.”
Morning Consult reports that, of the four major sports leagues, the MLB had the highest net favorability rating among Republicans prior to the All-Star Game relocation, but that it has now dropped below the NHL and NFL. The NBA is the least favorable among the four, according to data from the article.
The article also states that the league may have more to lose if it falls out of favor with conservative lawmakers. Sportico reports that Republican Sens. Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Josh Hawley of Missouri threatened to strip the league of its long-standing federal antitrust exemption.
This exemption allows the league to fix wages, deny clubs relocation, and pool intellectual property rights — all without worry of antitrust litigation.
“In light of [the MLB’s] stance to undermine election integrity laws,” Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-South Carolina) tweeted hours after MLB’s announcement, “I have instructed my staff to begin drafting legislation to remove Major League Baseball’s federal antitrust exception.”
Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted similar sentiments. “Why does [MLB] still have antitrust immunity?” Lee asked. “It’s time for the federal government to stop granting special privileges to specific, favored corporations—especially those that punish their political opponents.”