These revealing questions from the senator will not garner a response, but they deliver all the answers.
The media is currently in a notably stupid cycle, as facts are clearly being dispatched in favor of driving narratives that are rather easily disproven. Ron DeSantis is currently on the receiving end of a litany of insipidness, and another is the ongoing falsehoods surrounding the Georgia voting law. The New York Times delivered an authoritative summation as an explainer that was actually a listing of the idiotic responses to the law.
President Biden has been on a tear insisting this is the most racist thing seen in this country since the Civil War, and he managed to goad Major League Baseball into pulling its All-Star Game out of Georgia. After delivering a letter explaining the decision the Commissioner, Robert Manfred, appeared inept as his missive essentially was an admission he had not read the Georgia law. Now he is the recipient of another letter, this one from Senator Marco Rubio, and he reduced the Commissioner further via a series of questions.
Sen. Rubio opens with a query of a personal nature for Manfred.
Dear Commissioner Manfred:
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.
A valid curiosity. This would seem a natural course of action, considering he was evacuating the entire league event from the state over…well, reasons. So certainly this heightened level of disapproval would have to carry over to his personal life. But this was a minor point, with larger ones soon to arrive.
Rubio mentioned the economic impacts of the game’s departure affecting the very minority individuals Manfred claimed to be siding with, before speaking to a level of hypocrisy found in this decision. After all, if Major League Baseball is such a stalwart defender of free elections that new firm stance leads to more questions to be asked.
Will Major League Baseball now end its engagement with nations that do not hold elections at all like China and Cuba?
Oooohh, that one landed. After all, former President Barack Obama has come off looking foolish, since he was more than happy to be seen behind home plate and laughing with Raul Castro at an MLB event in Havana. Unless there is a supposition Cuba stages elections with more freedom than Atlanta, this is just a horrid juxtaposition for the league.
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?
Gah. Yes, this partnership sure trends closer to the human rights abuses that have been alleged to be seen in Georgia. But then again, there is a reason most do not take political guidance from athletes and those in professional sports, much like avoiding opinions from actresses is the wise choice to make.
Will you cease your relationship with the Chinese Government, which at this very moment is committing genocide against the Uyghurs Muslims in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR)?
Okay, this is starting to feel unfair. Commissioner Manfred is coming off looking deeply ignorant on such matters, except he was the one to enter this arena, under the guise this was, “the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport.” Well, unless those values shift from supporting communist dictatorships over an American state that is not violating anyone’s rights, he is coming off looking as ineffectual as a leader of a corporation might appear.
None of this is likely to change, at all. As Senator Rubio notes, virtue signaling is far easier than taking actual actions against actual human rights abuses. “I am under no illusion that Major League Baseball will sacrifice business revenue on behalf of its alleged corporate values.” And with that Rubio send the message out of the stadium and into the parking lot.
The full text of his letter is below.
Dear Commissioner Manfred:
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.
Last week, you “decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game” from Atlanta because of Georgia’s revised election law. 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. 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? 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?
Since Major League Baseball now appears eager to use its “platform” to demonstrate “unwavering support” for fundamental human rights, will you cease your relationship with the Chinese Government, which at this very moment is committing genocide against the Uyghurs Muslims in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR)?
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. But speaking out against the Chinese Communist Party would involve a significant loss of revenue and being closed out of a lucrative market.
In the end, as a citizen of a free nation you, and Major League Baseball, have the right to speak out against laws in the U.S. you disagree with, even if it is on the basis of false information. What would be truly bold, however, is if you 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.
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.