Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott wrote a letter on Monday to Neil Liebman, the COO of the Texas Rangers, apologizing for withdrawing from the opening day ceremonies. Abbott was scheduled to throw out the opening pitch.
"I was looking forward to throwing out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers' home opening game until @MLB adopted what has turned out to be a false narrative about Georgia's election law reforms. It is shameful that America's pastime is being influenced by partisan politics," said Gov. Abbott in his tweet.
Abbott also mentioned in the letter that "this decision does not diminish the deep respect I have for the Texas Rangers baseball organization, which is outstanding from top to bottom. I wish the team great success this season."
MLB has recently decided to move its All-Star game from Atlanta GA to an as-yet undecided location in protest of recent voting reforms in that state, which some claim will disenfranchise voters, even comparing the changes in voting laws to "Jim Crow" laws. Responses on social media to Abbott's action were rather mixed, but generally in favor of the governor.
"Pro sports will never be the same. Politics/money has poisoned our teams and culture. It is no longer something people do just because they love it. Thank God we have Baylor and Gonzaga tonight in an epic national championship."
"Thank you. We must preserve election integrity & assurance that our legal votes are counted. Unfortunately @MLB & so many other U.S. corporations have fallen under CCP's spell & they care more about their bottom lines than long term survival of America & our unique freedoms."