MLB's Political Bunt Faces Court Challenge

MLB's Political Bunt Faces Court Challenge

June 1, 2021

Woke corporations are learning the hard way that their social activism has a price. Monday, Major League Baseball was slapped with a $1.1 billion lawsuit for pulling the 2021 all-star game out of Atlanta, Georgia. The Job Creators Network (JCN), an organization that advocates for small businesses, filed the lawsuit -- arguing that the MLB's decision cost Georgia businesses $100 million in lost revenue and is seeking $1 billion in punitive damages.

Earlier this spring, the MLB announced it would pull the event out of Georgia after the Georgia legislature enacted a new law that would make voting easier and safer. The MLB's decision was based on the media's false narrative that the law's provisions, like replacing signature verification with a photo ID requirement, would make it harder to vote. But, as JCN President Alfredo Ortiz pointed out, "Major League Baseball itself requests ID at will call ticket windows at Yankee Stadium in New York, Busch Stadium in St. Louis, and at ballparks all across the country." The MLB embodies the typically elite attitude in America: rules for thee, but not for me.

Although other corporations quickly realized they had been wrong to condemn Georgia's election security measures, the MLB doubled down by announcing Denver, Colorado as the new location for the all-star game. But unlike some major corporations, the MLB's clientele isn't exclusively woke. If the MLB expected their political activism to come without consequences, they drastically miscalculated. Ortiz called their Georgia boycott "a knee-jerk, hypocritical, and illegal reaction to misinformation about Georgia's new voting law." And the lawsuit is the first step in holding them accountable.

Ironically, the MLB's politically laden move against Georgia, ostensibly because of some far-fetched connection to racism, will actually hurt minority-owned businesses most, according to JCN's lawsuit. It cites over 8,000 hotel reservations in Atlanta that have been canceled since the MLB's decision, travelers who would have dined, slept, and shopped in local-run businesses of Atlanta, a city with large racial and ethnic minorities. It points out the blow was particularly acute in the aftermath of COVID-related shutdowns. "MLB robbed the small businesses of Atlanta -- many of them minority-owned -- of $100 million," Ortiz summarized.

Five or ten years ago, this lawsuit would never have been filed. Imagine if the businesses that boycotted North Carolina for its bathroom bill had been slapped with lawsuits for the economic damage they caused. But the very fact that groups like JCN are willing to bear this standard in the courtroom shows that many Americans have grown increasingly aware to corporate elitists throwing their weight around in politics. It also illustrates the profound ways in which President Trump's legacy lives on in the hundreds of conservative judges he placed on courts around the nation.

JCN intends to make the MLB an example: woke corporations cannot expect to get off scot-free when they inject themselves into political conflicts to score a couple of hits for their favored side. Not only are they alienating their own clientele (see how that worked out for the NFL), but they will be held accountable for the havoc they wreak among local, small businesses. Corporations will only learn to stay out of politics when it impacts their bottom line.