Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) will not be throwing the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opening game after Major League Baseball moved the All-Star Game out of Georgia to protest the state’s new voting law.
“I was looking forward to throwing out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opening game until [MLB] adopted what has turned out to be a false narrative about Georgia’s election law reforms,” Abbott tweeted on Monday.
He continued, “It is shameful that America’s pastime is being influenced by partisan politics.”
I was looking forward to throwing out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers' home opening game until @MLB adopted what has turned out to be a false narrative about Georgia's election law reforms.— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 5, 2021
It is shameful that America's pastime is being influenced by partisan politics. pic.twitter.com/pNJApYBHpw
Abbott told Neil Leibman, president and COO of the Texas Rangers, in a letter he will not be participating in any event held by the league and Texas would not seek to host any other special events or the All-Star Game.
“This decision does not diminish the deep respect I have for the Texas Rangers baseball organization, which is outstanding from top to bottom. I wish the team great success this season,” the governor wrote.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement the league “fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”
He added, “Fair access to voting continues to have our unwavering support.”
He explained, “In the middle of a pandemic, Major League Baseball put the wishes of Stacey Abrams and Joe Biden ahead of the economic well-being of hard-working Georgians who were counting on the All-Star Game for a paycheck.”
The bill is also facing backlash from the nation’s top corporations including Delta Air Lines and the Coca-Cola Co.