Sen. Marco Rubio says Major League Baseball moving All-Star Game 'reeks of hypocrisy'

Florida senator questions whether MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred will cut ties to Augusta National Golf Club
Marco Rubio and Rob Manfred, The Masters at Augusta National composite
Posted at 7:02 PM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-05 19:18:40-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida senator is calling out the commissioner of Major League Baseball, claiming the decision to strip Atlanta of the All-Star Game "reeks of hypocrisy" and questioning whether Rob Manfred intends to maintain his membership at Augusta National Golf Club.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on Monday wrote a letter to Manfred in which he criticized the commissioner's action in response to a new Georgia law that Republicans claim will help to prevent election fraud but that critics argue will make it harder for people of color to vote.

MLB announced Friday it was moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta because of the law.

"Will Major League Baseball now end its engagement with nations that do not hold elections at all like China and Cuba?" Rubio wrote.

Rubio also asked Manfred if MLB will cut ties with Tencent, a company the senator claimed has "deep ties to the Communist Party" and helps the Chinese government "hunt down and silence" political dissidents.

"I am, of course, under no expectation any of this will happen," Rubio wrote. "Taking the All-Star Game out of Georgia is an easy way to signal virtues without significant financial fallout. But speaking out against the Chinese Communist Party would involve a significant loss of revenue and being closed out of a lucrative market."

Empty stadium for Atlanta Braves game in July 2020
Cardboard cutouts of fans in the otherwise empty seats face the field during the sixth inning of a baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays, Thursday, July 30, 2020, in Atlanta.

Rubio told Manfred that, if MLB wanted to be "truly bold," it would "speak out on behalf of the voiceless who face 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 added. "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."

Augusta National is one of the most prestigious golf courses in the country and home to the Masters, which begins this week.

Manfred has not replied to Rubio's letter.