While recent rule changes, such as adding a pitch clock, banning the shift, and implementing a universal designated hitter, have all been the subject of much debate, Major League Baseball has also been staking out controversial positions on more consequential topics, too—racial justice, LGBTQ+ issues, and business dealings with the Chinese Communist Party.
In each instance, Major League Baseball has proven that it no longer deserves its moniker as “America’s pastime.”
On the day after the 2023 All-Star Game, who can forget the virtue-signaling debacle that MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred engineered two years ago? He strongly supported moving the 2021 All-Star Game out of Georgia after the state passed commonsense election-integrity measures.
Manfred loudly proclaimed, “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”
Did he even read or understand Georgia’s law before making that statement, or did he just listen to the political spin put out by Joe Biden, Stacey Abrams, and their ilk? Likely the latter, since he moved the game to Colorado, which ironically had implemented equally (or more) stringent election-integrity laws in certain areas, such voter ID and early voting, than Georgia’s.
Then there’s MLB’s horrendous record on partnering with radical LGBTQ+ organizations and promoting their radical ideologies. Most recently, one of MLB’s most-storied franchises, the Los Angeles Dodgers, appropriately received widespread backlash over inviting a hate group—the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence—to its “Pride Night” and bestowing a community “hero” award on it.
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is a group of drag queens who dress up like nuns and put on blasphemous displays. To be sure, it was an egregious example of one MLB team partnering with radical groups, but it is well-documented that many other teams have quietly engaged in equally egregious conduct. For instance, a National Review article last year showed that “at least 20 teams have promoted or funded groups that advocate or are directly involved in child gender transitions.”
And to complete the trifecta, MLB has partnered with, and promoted, interests supported by the Chinese Communist Party. In the past several years, companies such as Miken Sports, which the MLB partially owns due to its position in the ownership group of Rawlings, have outsourced jobs to China.
MLB also has aggressively pursued operations and media expansions in China, too. For example, Tony Qi, the managing director of MLB China, has orchestrated deals with large Chinese conglomerates, such as Tencent, by landing broadcasting deals with Tencent Sports and Tencent Video.
The Communist Chinese government has sought to control shares in the company in order to allow it to have a significant say over Tencent’s business decisions.
And, of course, MLB continues to do business in, and with, China despite that government’s horrendous record of human rights abuses.
Americans should demand better from the keepers of America’s pastime. Regrettably, MLB doesn’t seem ready to change its ways. But maybe Americans should demand more from MLB and hold its leadership—and the leadership of each of its teams—accountable until it does.
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal