Gov. Greg Abbott announced plans on Monday to boycott Major League Baseball events following the league’s decision to pull its All-Star Game from Georgia. The Texas governor cited the ‘false narrative’ of voter suppression as motivating his decision.
The MLB announced Friday it was moving the All-Star Game out of the state, accompanied by a statement that the league “fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.” The decision comes after Georgia’s Republican-controlled legislature passed sweeping voter restrictions. Last month, the state Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill into law that requires a photo ID to vote absentee by mail, shortens runoff elections from nine weeks to four and gives the State Elections Board new power to intervene in up to four counties at a time and install a temporary superintendent with hiring and firing powers over election directors and poll officers.
Efforts to crack down on voting across Republican-led states have seen vehement opposition from the public, Democrat leaders, and corporate giants. American Airlines and Dell Technologies are among the prominent organizations who have spoken out against Texas election bills.
In response to the MLB’s decision, Texas Gov Greg Abbott declined his invitation to throw the ceremonial first pitch and said the state will not seek to host any subsequent All-Star Game or special event.
In a letter to the organization, Abbott expressed his disappointment that “America’s pastime is not only being influenced by partisan political politics, but also perpetuating false political narratives,” adding that he “will not participate in an event held by MLB, and the state will not seek to host the All-Star Game or any other MLB special events.”
The Texas governor concluded by wishing the team “great success this season,” and promised that his decision “doesn’t diminish the deep respect” he has for them.