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Republican Lawmakers Propose Legislation to End MLB’s Antitrust Exemption

 |  March 17, 2024

A trio of Republican senators has unveiled plans to challenge Major League Baseball’s longstanding antitrust exemption, following the league’s controversial decision to relocate the All-Star Game out of Georgia. Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, and Josh Hawley of Missouri announced the legislation on Tuesday, citing MLB’s recent move in protest against Georgia’s new voting restrictions.

The decision to move the Midsummer Classic from Truist Park in Georgia to Denver’s Coors Field came in response to voting limits signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp. This move by MLB sparked outrage among Republicans, who view it as yet another example of corporations siding with progressive causes, particularly around voting rights.

In a press conference, Senator Cruz lambasted MLB’s decision, labeling it as “harmful” and accused the league of playing partisan politics. “This past month, we have seen the rise of the woke corporation. We have seen the rise of big business enforcing a woke standard,” Cruz asserted, emphasizing that MLB’s action underscores the need to end the league’s special treatment under antitrust laws.

Read more: ‘Moneyball Act’ Targets MLB’s Antitrust Exemption

Senator Lee echoed Cruz’s sentiments, emphasizing that the antitrust exemption granted to MLB was a judicial creation and not established through legislative means. “It’s important to remember that this exemption was created from whole cloth by the Supreme Court 99 years ago,” Lee stated. “It was not put in place legislatively. It is a distinctively legislative decision.”

The move to challenge MLB’s antitrust exemption signals growing frustration among Republicans over what they perceive as corporations aligning with progressive ideologies. Former President Donald Trump’s influence in highlighting such cultural anxieties has further galvanized GOP opposition to corporate actions perceived as politically motivated.

However, the legislative push faces uncertainty regarding its potential success. While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized MLB’s decision to relocate the All-Star Game, he has not explicitly supported legislative action against the league. Since 1922, Major League Baseball has enjoyed exemptions from the Sherman Antitrust Act, granting it unique protections from certain competition regulations.

The proposal to end MLB’s antitrust exemption underscores the widening political divide between corporations and conservative lawmakers, with implications extending beyond the realm of sports. As the debate unfolds, the future of MLB’s legal standing and its interactions with political issues remain uncertain.

Source: AOL