Major League Baseball announced on Friday that they would be moving their annual All-Star Game out of Atlanta after a leftist outcry against Georgia's recently passed election laws that expand early voting and require a free, voter ID from voters in the Peach State.
In light of this corporate activism, Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT) said that the exemption protecting MLB from antitrust laws should be revoked.
Lee wrote that questioned MLB's antitrust immunity status, saying that the federal government should "stop granting special privileges to specific, favored corporations—especially those that punish their political opponents."
Cruz backed Lee up, saying that he was right, and that together the two legislators would be "working hard to END MLB's antitrust immunity."
Representative Jeff Duncan (R-SC) kicked off the move to strip MLB of their antitrust immunity, saying that MLB's goal in pulling their game from Georgia was an effort to "undermine election integrity laws." As such, Duncan's staff is working on legislation to "remove" MLB's antitrust exception.
Duncan went on to say that most Americans support requiring an ID to vote, and that those who would oppose a law that ensures a voter is who they say they are before they cast a ballot should be scrutinized themselves as to their motivations.
Author and pundit Candace Owens slammed the concept that voter ID laws are racist, pointing out that IDs are required to do pretty much everything in the US, from renting a home, to driving a car, to buying alcohol or tobacco products. Owens said that this assumption that black people and other minorities are unable to obtain an ID is simply the bigotry of lower expectations that a person's status as a racial minority makes them incapable of participating in public life.
MLB joins both Coca Cola and Delta in slamming the new election laws in Georgia, though, as Georgia Governor Brian Kemp pointed out, many other states have laws that are, by progressive definitions, more restrictive that Georgia's. These include New York, which has less early voting days than Georgia as well as more limits on absentee voting, and which state serves as MLB headquarters.
Major League Baseball has had an antitrust exemption since a Supreme Court ruling in 1922, which stated that baseball was a sport and not a business. Per the 1998 Curt Flood Act, MLB players have the same rights as players in other sports, but baseball is not subject to antitrust laws for franchise relocation or other operations and broadcast negotiations.
In baseball, teams cannot move locations without the approval of MLB. MLB is congressionally allowed to have a monopoly on the sport. If the exemption were removed, teams would have more freedom to negotiate broadcasting and location deals. As it stands right now, the MLB has total control and final say over how many baseball teams they are and where they are located.
MLB, however, does not have a say in how states are governed or the laws they enact to maintain the security of their election process.