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Commentary: MLB Wading in Dangerous Waters As It Asks Fans for Their Political Beliefs

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Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred seems to be enjoying his politics on the moon so he decided to get into it all.

Three weeks ago, Manfred voted to pull the MLB All-Star Game this summer out of Georgia to protest the new state voting reform law. Oddly, he moved the game to Colorado, a state with a 9 percent black population and even stricter voting laws.

However, the league is now distributing surveys to fans, and one of the questions asked them to identify their political affiliation, National Analysis reported on Monday.

MLB tried to justify the question in a publication statement, saying, “Research has shown that a person’s political affiliation often affects their views about the pandemic, and therefore respondents’ views about on the way back to the ballpark. Since we’re in the middle of a pandemic, it’s important information for our clubs to understand their fans’ perceptions about attending games. “

The league stressed this is the third year it has conducted surveys. However, the question of political affiliation arose for the first time during the 2020 posteason.

MLB said it was just one question in an “extensive” questionnaire about its entire experience, from buying their tickets to attending the game, and noted that many organizations asked survey respondents for their political affiliation. In addition, it said, “Conducting the survey and answering that question is entirely voluntary.”

Respondents could check the box for “Democrat,” “Republican,” “A Third Party,” “Independent” or “I prefer not to say,” or they could simply leave it blank.

“MLB says the information will be used to identify broad trends, and insists that the results of the surveys – sent via email – are not tied to any individual accounts,” according to The National Review .

Understood, Manfred’s decision to pull the All-Star Game out of Atlanta was not well received by Republicans. A Poll in the morning consult shot in mid -March showed MLB’s favorable rating among Republicans of 47 percent. A week after the league’s announcement about the game move, the rating plummeted to 12 percent.

Knowing that 75 million Americans voted for former President Donald Trump in the November election, it defies the logic that any business, especially a major sports league, would actively and publicly express differing political views. . Don’t they understand that fans look at sports as a break from the hard realities of everyday life? Why would they choose to isolate so many loyal fans to make a political statement?

For many Americans, flying is a necessity. Although I will look at JetBlue flights first, if there is an easier or cheaper flight available for a trip I need to make, I will continue to fly Delta, United or American Airlines despite their political stance.

Attending a baseball game, however, is not a necessity. It’s easy to leave a trip to the ballpark.

Until the death of George Floyd last year, MLB was much further away from the realm of politics. The league’s public, however, expressed its support for Black Lives Matter.

The New York Times described the scene in the delayed COVID Opening Day game between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals last July:

“The 200-yard black cloth is stretched along the dirty lines, starting on one side of the outside of the country, wrapped around the house plate and extending to the other side of the diamond. It is held by coaches and players from both Washington Nationals and Yankees, all spaced out, as a message recorded by actor Morgan Freeman who played the stadium speakers. “Then they all knelt down for 60 seconds of silence.”

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose support for the Yankees is legendary, immediately criticized these actions on Twitter.

Manfred needs to understand that his attempt to gain favor with the current administration and others on the left will be worth it. He just needs to look NBA experience.

According to Sports Media Watch, ratings for the NBA All-Star Game (played in March) across TNT and TBS hit a record-low of 3.1, down 24 percent from 4.1 last year. And 5.94 million viewers watched the game, a drop of 18 percent from 7.28 million in 2020.

Last week, Fox Business News reported that Republican lawmakers plan to introduce legislation to remove MLB’s ex-anti-trust exemption.

The report explained that the league was “considered an‘ exhibition ’and not subject to the Commerce Clause of the Constitution – thanks to a 1922 landmark Supreme Court case. The Supreme Court decision said Major League Baseball’s business was not constitutes ‘interstate commerce,’ making it excluded from the Sherman Act, which essentially allows the sport to monopolize the industry. The National Football League, National Basketball Association, and National Hockey League do not have the same exemption. “

Unfortunately, given the Democrats control of the White House and Congress, the bill is not too far off. But Republicans will not forget it.

When will athletes get the message that fans don’t care about their political beliefs, especially when views are anti-American?

Wake up, blow up, as they say.

This article originally appeared on The Western Journal.



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