Home News Rubio to MLB commissioner Manfred: Drop your Augusta golf membership, too

Rubio to MLB commissioner Manfred: Drop your Augusta golf membership, too

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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on Monday challenged Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to put his money where his mouth is over his decision to yank the sport’s All-Star Game from Georgia over a controversial new voting law by making a personal sacrifice — his membership at the Peach State’s fabled Augusta National Golf Club.

Rubio, a Republican, teed off on Manfred in an open letter addressed to the commissioner at his Midtown Manhattan office.

“I write to ask you whether you intend to maintain your membership at Augusta National
Golf Club. As you are well aware, the exclusive members-only club is located in the State of Georgia,” the letter began.

Manfred last week decided to yank the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest new voting provisions in Georgia, which critics say are restrictive to Democracy and President Biden has characterized as modern-day Jim Crow.

In doing so, Manfred followed the lead of Georgia-based corporations like Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola that have come out against the law, which, among other things, requires photo identification for absentee voting and forbids groups from providing voters with food and beverages as they wait in line at polling places.

But Rubio asked Monday if Manfred was prepared to take that stand further.

Sen. Marco Rubio talking to the media on Capitol Hill on March 12, 2020.
Sen. Marco Rubio talking to the media on Capitol Hill on March 12, 2020.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File

“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,” the lawmaker wrote. “And one that reeks of hypocrisy.

“Will Major League Baseball now end its engagement with nations that do not hold
elections at all like China and Cuba?” he continued. “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?”

In trying to square the league’s new political initiative with its ties to China, Rubio also invoked the ongoing “genocide” against Uighur Muslims in the nation.

“I am, of course, under no expectation any of this will happen. Taking the All-Star game
out of Georgia is an easy way to signal virtues without significant financial fallout,” wrote Rubio. “I am under no illusion that Major League Baseball will sacrifice business revenue on behalf of its alleged corporate values.”

Sen. Marco Rubio speaking at a Senate hearing on June 10, 2020.
Sen. Marco Rubio speaking at a Senate hearing on June 10, 2020.
Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP

Rubio closed by circling back to Manfred’s personal ties to Georgia.

“Similarly, I am under no illusion you intend to resign as a member from Augusta National Golf Club,” he wrote. “To do so would require a personal sacrifice, as opposed to the woke corporate virtue signaling of moving the All Star Game from Atlanta.”

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