Republican Sen. Marco Rubio sent a letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred asking if he will renounce his membership at the “exclusive members-only” Augusta National Golf Club following the league’s decision to move its All-Star Game from Georgia in protest of a new election reforms law.
“Last week, you ‘decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game’ from Atlanta because of Georgia’s revised election law,” the senator from Florida wrote. “It is a decision that will have a bigger impact on countless small and minority-owned businesses in and around Atlanta, than the new election law ever will. And one that reeks of hypocrisy.”
Rubio said that this week, however, he does not expect to see any further actions by the commissioner nor his organization beyond decisions that “signal virtues without significant financial fallout.”
“Will Major League Baseball now end its engagement with nations that do not hold elections at all like China and Cuba? Will you end your lucrative financial relationship with Tencent, a company with deep ties to the Communist Party and actively helps the Chinese Government hunt down and silence political dissidents?” Rubio pressed. “Since Major League Baseball now appears eager to use its ‘platform’ to demonstrate ‘unwavering support’ for fundamental human rights, will you cease your relationship with the Chinese Government, which at this very moment is committing genocide against the Uyghurs Muslims in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR)?”
The senator noted that MLB has a right “to speak out against laws in the U.S. you disagree with, even if it is on the basis of false information,” but he condemned Manfred and the MLB for using its influence for “woke corporate virtue signaling” instead of addressing human rights violations such as “arbitrary imprisonment, forced sterilization, coerced abortions, rape, and other horrific acts at the hands of one of your business partners.”
“I am under no illusion that Major League Baseball will sacrifice business revenue on behalf of its alleged corporate values,” Rubio concluded. “Similarly, I am under no illusion you intend to resign as a member from Augusta National Golf Club. To do so would require a personal sacrifice, as opposed to the woke corporate virtue signaling of moving the All Star Game from Atlanta.”