Baseball is the last straw. Time to start boycotting
I have been a baseball fan since the days of Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson, Willie Mays, and Mickey Mantle. I have attended scores of regular season games as well as both World Series and All-Star Games. I have followed my team regardless of its fortunes for more than half a century. Throughout most of that time, baseball has, with the exception of the integration of the sport, generally remained relatively, although by no means totally aloof from the social and political upheavals that have transformed the nation. For that reason it has been one institution that could serve as a haven from the political battles of the day.
Regardless of the divisions of race or political allegiance, baseball fans could at least unite in pulling for their team and in admiration of the great players and the plays they made on the field. Since Jackie Robinson and the Dodgers broke the color barrier in baseball some seventy-four years ago, the major leagues have made enormous social progress. For the past several decades, baseball players have been judged primarily by their performance on the field. Major league baseball has become a model of the colorblind society that Martin Luther King envisioned — one in which advancement is based exclusively on merit rather than on immutable personal characteristics. It has become what this nation aspired to be. It has helped promote unity in a divisive time. Not so anymore.
Under the influence of racist organizations such as BLM, and in response to ignorant denunciations of Georgia's new election integrity bill by an ignorant president, it has thrown in with the woke mob that would judge the worth of individuals on the basis of the color of their skin rather than on the content of their character. In the process it has begun to unravel the progress made in the preceding half-century. Now, not even baseball, the all-American game, is a haven from the culture wars unleashed by the ruthless left.
It would not have been hard for Rob Manfred and the big businessmen who run MLB to resist the demands of the radical left to take sides in a political dispute. All they needed to say was that the business of MLB is baseball. Not politics. But that would have taken courage — courage that they do not have.
Appalling as that is, what is even more frustrating is that the general public is relatively powerless to fight back. True, we can write angry emails to MLB — there is a contact us" button at the bottom of the MLB.com website — but their impact is likely to dissipate over time. President Trump can call for a boycott of Major League Baseball, but the issue will be quickly forgotten, and craven businessmen who most likely haven't even bothered to read the entire ninety-five-page bill will have punished Georgia for attempting to ensure honest elections. Ironically among those who will suffer the most as a result of the withdrawal of the All-Star Game from Atlanta will be all those ordinary hard-working men and women who work in the concession stands at the stadium and in the small businesses such as bars and restaurants in and around Atlanta that have already been hard hit by COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
In response, it is high time for Congress to reassess the antitrust exemption enjoyed by a business that is clearly involved in interstate commerce. Unfortunately, this will probably have to await the election of a conservative Congress. Meanwhile, perhaps Cobb County, Georgia can file suit against MLB. Among the few things conservatives can do is let Governor Brian Kemp and the Georgia Legislature know that we appreciate the courage he has shown amid a torrent of abuse heaped upon him and his state by the dishonest media.
As usual, amid this assault by left-wing authoritarians, the right is disorganized and leaderless while the radical leftists get what they want. Accordingly, conservatives need to organize themselves at least as effectively as the far left has organized itself. But various spokesmen on the right, both on broadcast and in print media have argued against the use of boycotts by conservatives against woke corporations, contending that in the long run, it is best to preserve the free market in ideas rather than by responding in kind. But the left has been using this tactic effectively for years to intimidate the men and women of few convictions who inhabit corporate boardrooms across the country. Renunciation of this weapon is effectively a form of unilateral disarmament in the face of a vicious political enemy of freedom. Conservatives need to organize for effective political action.
Leftist organizations have been using boycotts for years. Conservatives need to pick up and wield this weapon in self-defense. Failure to do so will mean continued losses as one business after another caves in to the relentless pressure that that the left can bring to bear corporations such as Starbucks, Nike, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, and Major League Baseball.
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