Et Tu, Major League Baseball?

 

Good Friday traditionally is honored by Christians as part of their Easter weekend religious practices to honor the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is where our focus should rest, especially for devout people of faith, Catholic and Protestant.

Sadly, Major League Baseball (MLB) chose to use the afternoon to pay homage to perhaps our newest and fastest-growing religion – woke progressive politics. To wit: under pressure from so-called “Civil Rights” groups and activists, they chose to relocate the 2021 All-Star game and draft scheduled for Atlanta, Georgia to another city, to be named later. My money is our national capital of wokeness, San Francisco.

The reason? Georgia’s new, unfairly maligned election reform law. MLB frankly lied by calling it “restrictive.” It is nothing of the sort, but no matter. The damage is done. It does make you wonder if anyone at the MLB either read or understands the new law, or bothered to consult with anyone who has. I guess they felt sorry for Coca-Cola’s and especially Delta Airlines’ miserable PR faux pas this week and felt misery needed company.

To their credit, the Atlanta Braves, my favorite new team, publicly disagreed with the decision. It is always refreshing to see an organization – anyone – stand up to wokesters.

One might think that baseball would have learned a thing or two from the National Basketball Association and the National Football League, both of which have seen fans and viewers divert their eyes and dollars elsewhere over obvious wokeness if not selling its collective soul to the Communist Chinese.

Let’s go to Newsweek’s March 31 reporting of a Yahoo News/YouGov poll:

As NBA ratings have declined over the current season, a new poll shows that more than 30 percent of Americans say they have watched less sports over political and social justice messaging.

The poll, which was conducted by Yahoo News/YouGov, found 34.5 percent of respondents saying they have watched less sports due to social justice campaigns. According to the poll, 11 percent of people said they have watched more sports as a result of the social justice messaging, and 56.3 percent said they have watched the same amount.

Looking at the different political party affiliations, 19 percent of Democrats said they have watched less sports in light of social justice messaging, while 13.7 percent said they have watched more. In comparison, 53 percent of Republicans said they have watched less sports due to social justice messaging, and just 8.6 percent said they have watched more.

Major League Baseball’s response? Hold my beer.

Relocating the game is no doubt a major economic blow to Atlanta, a city with one of America’s highest concentrations of African Americans (over 50% are black) and people living in poverty (21%). The game was estimated to bring an economic impact of between $37-$190 million to the city and the state.

But the real damage to baseball may not only be financial to its own coffers but something the US Supreme Court granted them, unanimously, on May 22, 1922; exemption from federal antitrust laws, particularly the Sherman Act. What’s the practical effect of that decision? To allow baseball to engage in monopolistic behavior. To wit, courtesy of philsbaseball.com:

Antitrust laws are statutes developed by the U.S. Government to protect consumers from monopolistic business practices and ensure fair competition exists. Or, as the Federal Trade Commission describes it, “These laws promote vigorous competition and protect consumers from anticompetitive mergers and business practices.” (2) These laws were made official by Congress through the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890.

Seems that the Supreme Court, in an opinion penned by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, was persuaded by an appeals court decision that said MLB games (National and American Leagues) weren’t “interstate commerce” but entirely “local games.” The fact that players traveled across state lines to play professional games didn’t persuade the court. Justice Samuel Alito, himself a huge Phillies fan, gave a detailed speech on the origins of the MLB’s antitrust exemption in 2009.

The law has been challenged a few times over the years, most notably in a 1972 Supreme Court case involving the legendary Curt Flood. The exemption stood, but resulted in the creation of “free agency” for players and changed the game forever. Again, philsbaseball.com:

Baseball’s exemption finally reached the Supreme Court again in 1972 in the case of Flood v. Kuhn. Curt Flood was an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals who was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1969. Flood refused to play for the Phillies, instead requesting that he be declared a free agent and allow him to sign with the team of his choice. (3) When the commissioner declined, citing the reserve clause in Flood’s contract, Flood filed suit against MLB.

The Supreme Court let the old decision stand, but also criticized much of their exemption status. Justice Blackmun noted that “baseball is a business and it is engaged in interstate commerce,” a finding counter to the previous ruling. Justice Blackmun also admitted that the baseball exemption was “an exception and an anomaly,” but they were “loath . . . to overturn judicially” a decision which Congress failed to address, so they again left it up to Congress to handle.

Although Flood lost in court, his suit helped enable MLB players to earn the right for free agency. Flood’s case educated players about the “fundamental inequity of the reserve system,” which binded a player to “one club for life, or until that club decided to get rid of the player.” (7) It helped develop, outside of any court rulings, the first-ever collective bargaining agreement in 1968, allowing players the right to arbitration to resolve grievances. In December 1975, the players also won the right to free agency.

Thanks to the MLB ill-advised bending of the knee to woke politics, a lot of members of Congress appear poised to resurrect a debate that may, eventually, threaten the league’s antitrust exemption.

And this from US Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC)

Good for them. It is time. A message needs to be sent to MLB and other professional sports, both by fans and by the government, that we will no longer stand by and patronize or protect these leagues from this kind of needless, even harmful political activity and virtue signaling.

Sports are supposed to unify us, to elevate us from the hum-drum of political and daily toils and tribulations to cheer for and celebrate the best athletes in our favorite sports. For me, I’ll be boycotting all things MLB until they reverse course, and stick with my NHL favorites, the Washington Capitals, and Colorado Avalanche. At least until they go completely woke. Let’s hope they’re willing to pass the test that the MLB clearly failed.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 40 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    I was really looking forward to watching baseball this year and getting back to going to some games.    Alas, they ruined it.   Oh well.    It’s for the best I suppose.    I haven’t read Chaucer in 40 years.   I’ll have time to revisit.

    • #1
  2. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Well, someone’s hand shut down the opening of the season in Washington. That was appropriate.

    • #2
  3. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    I was really looking forward to watching baseball this year and getting back to going to some games. Alas, they ruined it. Oh well. It’s for the best I suppose. I haven’t read Chaucer in 40 years. I’ll have time to revisit.

    I’m liking the latest from C.J. Box because he’s really good at incorporating the very latest federal government abuses into his plots. It’s fun.

    • #3
  4. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    I gave on MLB last year when the Cubs decided to go Woke.

    Ditto the NHL.

    Along with NFL all done for me.

    • #4
  5. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Gagball. C’mon, man! I just renewed my MLB app and now I don’t want to even think about woke ball. (sigh)

    • #5
  6. Richard Easton Member
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    I grew up watching the Washington Senators (I may have a masochistic streak). Then I was a Cubs fan when I lived in Chicago. I sent MLB today an email saying I’m done watching them. Will follow it up next week with a phone call.  We need to repeal all tax breaks and subsidies these clowns get.

    • #6
  7. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    To hell with all sports, NHL included. Unfortunately, the Carolina Hurricanes went woke with LGBTQRS before COVID , Floyd, or any of the other crap that came down the pike last year. February 16, 2020 was the last game I attended and watched. I’m afraid these leagues are using COVID as the excuse for why people are not in the stands. It will be up to us to make sure they know this is not the case by writing them and also by not showing up when (if) things ever return to normal. NO MORE BREAD AND CIRCUSES!!!! 

    • #7
  8. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    I am so outraged over this.  I wrote to MLB just now that I was within inches of canceling my subscription.  Baseball is the only sport I really like.  How dare them get political.  I’m weighing my options.  I’m going to let this settle out for a week or so.  I may still cancel.

    • #8
  9. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I wonder if San Francisco is planning to clean up all the street feces before the big show etc, or would that ruin the expected…. ambience?

    • #9
  10. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy) Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy)
    @GumbyMark

    Manny (View Comment):

    I am so outraged over this. I wrote to MLB just now that I was within inches of canceling my subscription. Baseball is the only sport I really like. How dare them get political. I’m weighing my options. I’m going to let this settle out for a week or so. I may still cancel.

    I’ve written MLB and my local team.  No more baseball.  And I love baseball.

    • #10
  11. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    Manny (View Comment):

    I am so outraged over this. I wrote to MLB just now that I was within inches of canceling my subscription. Baseball is the only sport I really like. How dare them get political. I’m weighing my options. I’m going to let this settle out for a week or so. I may still cancel.

    It’s the only thing in the end that will get their attention. Gotta hit ’em in the wallet. I let them know when I didn’t renew my season tickets to the Canes that it was because of the “in your face” crap they were doing. Just play the dang game. 

    • #11
  12. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Manny (View Comment):

    I am so outraged over this. I wrote to MLB just now that I was within inches of canceling my subscription. Baseball is the only sport I really like. How dare them get political. I’m weighing my options. I’m going to let this settle out for a week or so. I may still cancel.

    you should cancel.  There are free sports available.  Watch some cricket or the Olympics this summer.  Put your money into a VPN and stream all kinds of things from other countries.  You really don’t have to support the special monopoly of baseball.

    • #12
  13. OldPhil Coolidge
    OldPhil
    @OldPhil

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):
    Watch some cricket or the Olympics this summer. 

    Watch out for the Olympics, though. The US Olympic committee has announced that athletes will be able to demonstrate their social justice attitudes by kneeling, raising fists, etc. Also: 

    In addition to actionably demonstrating support for social justice, the USOPC said that athletes competing in the Olympic trials will be allowed to wear hats or face coverings with phrases including “Black Lives Matter,” “Trans Lives Matter,” “equality” and “respect.”

    I’ll be waiting to see what happens with the first athlete wearing a MAGA hat.

    • #13
  14. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):
    Watch some cricket or the Olympics this summer.

    Watch out for the Olympics, though. The US Olympic committee has announced that athletes will be able to demonstrate their social justice attitudes by kneeling, raising fists, etc. Also:

    In addition to actionably demonstrating support for social justice, the USOPC said that athletes competing in the Olympic trials will be allowed to wear hats or face coverings with phrases including “Black Lives Matter,” “Trans Lives Matter,” “equality” and “respect.”

    I’ll be waiting to see what happens with the first athlete wearing a MAGA hat.

    First I’d like to see MLB stand up for free speech by divesting its PR from platforms that don’t allow all legal speech.

    • #14
  15. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I am so outraged over this. I wrote to MLB just now that I was within inches of canceling my subscription. Baseball is the only sport I really like. How dare them get political. I’m weighing my options. I’m going to let this settle out for a week or so. I may still cancel.

    you should cancel. There are free sports available. Watch some cricket or the Olympics this summer. Put your money into a VPN and stream all kinds of things from other countries. You really don’t have to support the special monopoly of baseball.

    Yeah, I take special delight when I can pirate sporting event now.  Although thats usually only if my kids are around and want to watch something.

    • #15
  16. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    I was really looking forward to watching baseball this year and getting back to going to some games. Alas, they ruined it. Oh well. It’s for the best I suppose. I haven’t read Chaucer in 40 years. I’ll have time to revisit.

    I was thinking of watching some games too.  I guess I’ll play Borderlands 3 instead.  Just finished downloading it . . .

    • #16
  17. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    I found a great alternative to the NFL:

    https://lflus.com/

    It began as the Lingerie Football League, but changed its name to the Legends Football League.  If the idea of watching scantily clad women play tackle football sounds intriguing, give it a shot . . .

    • #17
  18. Cal Lawton Member
    Cal Lawton
    @CalLawton

    I guess this leaves Formula1 and curling.

    • #18
  19. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I am so outraged over this. I wrote to MLB just now that I was within inches of canceling my subscription. Baseball is the only sport I really like. How dare them get political. I’m weighing my options. I’m going to let this settle out for a week or so. I may still cancel.

    you should cancel. There are free sports available. Watch some cricket or the Olympics this summer. Put your money into a VPN and stream all kinds of things from other countries. You really don’t have to support the special monopoly of baseball.

    If you can make a statement like this then you haven’t loved a sport or a team. You can’t just replace what you love with something else.

    • #19
  20. DJ EJ Member
    DJ EJ
    @DJEJ

    And here I was all excited about the Brewers season after the comeback opening day win against the Twins in the 10th inning. Lorenzo Cain, the only Brewer to opt out of playing the 2020 season and the only Brewer player wearing a mask the entire game (he must really be afraid of COVID-19), slid into home off of Orlando Arcia’s bouncing infield chopper, barely beating the tag and sealing the 6-5 victory. I was also excited about the lack of any BLM or other political logos or slogans anywhere on the field or uniforms. The only special patch on the Brewers uniforms was the #44, in honor of Milwaukee Braves and Brewers great Hank Aaron. Then MLB bowed to the woke mob…sigh.

    This morning I unsubscribed to the daily MLB news emails. What’s a good email address to write a letter to MLB?

    For your worldwide online sporting needs I recommend vipbox along with a good pop-up blocker.

    • #20
  21. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Yawn.  Baseball lost me back in 1994 when the players strike caused the cancellation of the World Series.

    Before that, I was probably the most rabid fan imaginable; I was a regular at the old Fulton County Stadium (especially when my beloved Reds came to town).  I could tell you the ERA of every pitcher in baseball, along with the BA of every hitter.

    I agonized over my Big Red Machine when they lost the World Series to Baltimore (1970) and Oakland (1972) but was in heaven during the 1975-76 seasons.  When the Reds swept Oakland in 1990 the feeling was indescribable.

    Now, I believe that MLB is a shadow of its former self.  Spoiled overpaid children who couldn’t carry the jockstraps of players like Mays, Mantle, Banks, Robinson (both Frank and Brooks) and others.

    When I’m channel surfing and go past a baseball game, I just shake my head; don’t these idiots in the stands have anything better to do?

    Now that MLB is formally “woke”, big deal.  They’re no different than any other failing business that I’ll avoid.

    • #21
  22. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I am so outraged over this. I wrote to MLB just now that I was within inches of canceling my subscription. Baseball is the only sport I really like. How dare them get political. I’m weighing my options. I’m going to let this settle out for a week or so. I may still cancel.

    you should cancel. There are free sports available. Watch some cricket or the Olympics this summer. Put your money into a VPN and stream all kinds of things from other countries. You really don’t have to support the special monopoly of baseball.

    If you can make a statement like this then you haven’t loved a sport or a team. You can’t just replace what you love with something else.

    Loving a sport is understandable, especially if it’s something you do yourself.  But loving a team, or loving to watch other people play a game?  That’s just crazy talk.  As was mentioned by some comedian in the past, it’s just a bunch of pampered millionaires playing for cities they aren’t even from.  Or as I believe Seinfeld put it, “Why do people say ‘we won?’  You didn’t win.  THEY won.  You watched.”

    • #22
  23. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I am so outraged over this. I wrote to MLB just now that I was within inches of canceling my subscription. Baseball is the only sport I really like. How dare them get political. I’m weighing my options. I’m going to let this settle out for a week or so. I may still cancel.

    you should cancel. There are free sports available. Watch some cricket or the Olympics this summer. Put your money into a VPN and stream all kinds of things from other countries. You really don’t have to support the special monopoly of baseball.

    If you can make a statement like this then you haven’t loved a sport or a team. You can’t just replace what you love with something else.

    Loving a sport is understandable, especially if it’s something you do yourself. But loving a team, or loving to watch other people play a game? That’s just crazy talk. As was mentioned by some comedian in the past, it’s just a bunch of pampered millionaires playing for cities they aren’t even from. Or as I believe Seinfeld put it, “Why do people say ‘we won?’ You didn’t win. THEY won. You watched.”

    I know some of those who play or played and they cannot sit and watch a game in which they are not involved. 

    • #23
  24. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    I really liked the Nationals two years ago but mostly related to their underdog status and a championship drought that rivaled the Cubs. Once they won it all I felt like I was done cheering. I particularly liked how they beat the Dodgers (the money team) and the Astros (the cheating team).

    • #24
  25. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I am so outraged over this. I wrote to MLB just now that I was within inches of canceling my subscription. Baseball is the only sport I really like. How dare them get political. I’m weighing my options. I’m going to let this settle out for a week or so. I may still cancel.

    you should cancel. There are free sports available. Watch some cricket or the Olympics this summer. Put your money into a VPN and stream all kinds of things from other countries. You really don’t have to support the special monopoly of baseball.

    If you can make a statement like this then you haven’t loved a sport or a team. You can’t just replace what you love with something else.

    Loving a sport is understandable, especially if it’s something you do yourself. But loving a team, or loving to watch other people play a game? That’s just crazy talk. As was mentioned by some comedian in the past, it’s just a bunch of pampered millionaires playing for cities they aren’t even from. Or as I believe Seinfeld put it, “Why do people say ‘we won?’ You didn’t win. THEY won. You watched.”

    True, but it was this way before the game was messed up by free agency and those pampered millionaires that you mentioned.  I wasn’t around for the Great Depression (thankfully) but, from what I’ve read, baseball served as a brief respite from the miserable economic conditions that existed.  I suspect that the folks back then did, indeed, “love” their teams.  Just something to hang on to, I suppose.

    • #25
  26. DJ EJ Member
    DJ EJ
    @DJEJ

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    I grew up watching the Washington Senators (I may have a masochistic streak). Then I was a Cubs fan when I lived in Chicago. I sent MLB today an email saying I’m done watching them. Will follow it up next week with a phone call. We need to repeal all tax breaks and subsidies these clowns get.

    What MLB email address did you send it to? Have you received a response (automatic or otherwise)?

    • #26
  27. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    I really liked the Nationals two years ago but mostly related to their underdog status and a championship drought that rivaled the Cubs. Once they won it all I felt like I was done cheering. I particularly liked how they beat the Dodgers (the money team) and the Astros (the cheating team).

    Yeah, just from reading about it, that Astros situation was almost as bad as the Black Sox scandal of 1919 as it regarded the integrity of the game.  However, I don’t believe any of the Astros were “banished for life”.  

    I think baseball has taken so many hits (steriods, corked bats, etc.) that the integrity of the game is now just a joke.  So, if they choose to become “woke”, who cares?

    • #27
  28. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I am so outraged over this. I wrote to MLB just now that I was within inches of canceling my subscription. Baseball is the only sport I really like. How dare them get political. I’m weighing my options. I’m going to let this settle out for a week or so. I may still cancel.

    you should cancel. There are free sports available. Watch some cricket or the Olympics this summer. Put your money into a VPN and stream all kinds of things from other countries. You really don’t have to support the special monopoly of baseball.

    If you can make a statement like this then you haven’t loved a sport or a team. You can’t just replace what you love with something else.

    Loving a sport is understandable, especially if it’s something you do yourself. But loving a team, or loving to watch other people play a game? That’s just crazy talk. As was mentioned by some comedian in the past, it’s just a bunch of pampered millionaires playing for cities they aren’t even from. Or as I believe Seinfeld put it, “Why do people say ‘we won?’ You didn’t win. THEY won. You watched.”

    True, but it was this way before the game was messed up by free agency and those pampered millionaires that you mentioned. I wasn’t around for the Great Depression (thankfully) but, from what I’ve read, baseball served as a brief respite from the miserable economic conditions that existed. I suspect that the folks back then did, indeed, “love” their teams. Just something to hang on to, I suppose.

    So it’s another opiate of the masses?  Bread and Circuses, that kind of thing?  I can think of far more useful ways to spend my time and money.

    • #28
  29. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    kedavis (View Comment):

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    I am so outraged over this. I wrote to MLB just now that I was within inches of canceling my subscription. Baseball is the only sport I really like. How dare them get political. I’m weighing my options. I’m going to let this settle out for a week or so. I may still cancel.

    you should cancel. There are free sports available. Watch some cricket or the Olympics this summer. Put your money into a VPN and stream all kinds of things from other countries. You really don’t have to support the special monopoly of baseball.

    If you can make a statement like this then you haven’t loved a sport or a team. You can’t just replace what you love with something else.

    Loving a sport is understandable, especially if it’s something you do yourself. But loving a team, or loving to watch other people play a game? That’s just crazy talk. As was mentioned by some comedian in the past, it’s just a bunch of pampered millionaires playing for cities they aren’t even from. Or as I believe Seinfeld put it, “Why do people say ‘we won?’ You didn’t win. THEY won. You watched.”

    True, but it was this way before the game was messed up by free agency and those pampered millionaires that you mentioned. I wasn’t around for the Great Depression (thankfully) but, from what I’ve read, baseball served as a brief respite from the miserable economic conditions that existed. I suspect that the folks back then did, indeed, “love” their teams. Just something to hang on to, I suppose.

    So it’s another opiate of the masses? Bread and Circuses, that kind of thing? I can think of far more useful ways to spend my time and money.

    My point is that, during the 30s, baseball was a diversion.  If you wish, you can call it Bread and Circuses, but, with an unemployment rate of 25%, I think people can be forgiven for wanting to get their minds off their situation.

    • #29
  30. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Loving a sport is understandable, especially if it’s something you do yourself.  But loving a team, or loving to watch other people play a game?  That’s just crazy talk.  As was mentioned by some comedian in the past, it’s just a bunch of pampered millionaires playing for cities they aren’t even from.  Or as I believe Seinfeld put it, “Why do people say ‘we won?’  You didn’t win.  THEY won.  You watched.”

    Your contempt shows you have nothing to add to the point of this thread.

    • #30