Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, hit President Biden and Major League Baseball for the league’s decision to boycott Georgia over its election law — and asking if that hard stance will be extended to the Chinese Communist regime.
MLB announced this week it would be relocating its All-Star Game and MLB draft in response to the state’s election law, which Republicans have said will restore faith in the state’s elections, but Democrats have alleged will restrict voting access.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” Commissioner Robert D. Manfred said in a statement.
But Rubio made reference to recent reports that the baseball organization had extended its agreement with Chinese-owned Tencent to stream games into the authoritarian country — which has cracked down on pro-democracy protests. MLB first penned a deal with the tech giant in 2018.
In 2017, MLB announced a 10-year relationship with Chinese state-owned Beijing Enterprises Real-Estate Group Ltd.
“@MLB caves to pressure & moves draft & #AllStarGame out of Georgia on the same week they announce a deal with a company backed by the genocidal Communist Party of #China. Why are we still listening to these woke corporate hypocrites on taxes, regulations & anti-trust?” Rubio tweeted.
The law, signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, places new restrictions on voting by mail, adds voter ID requirements and sets limits on the number of drop box locations and operating hours. It cuts down the time for absentee voting and does away with a signature-match system in favor of providing a driver’s license, state ID or the last four digits of their social security number on ballots to prove identity.
The law mandates two Saturdays of early voting ahead of general elections, an increase from just one, and says two Sundays are optional. The law also bans outside groups from handing out free food or water to those waiting in line to vote. But the law allows for “self-service water from an unattended receptacle.”
President Biden weighed in earlier this week, saying he would “strongly support” MLB’s decision to move the game out of Georgia.
“Look at what’s happened across the board. The very people who are victimized the most are the people who are the leaders in these various sports, and it’s just not right,” Biden said in an interview with ESPN. “This is Jim Crow on steroids, what they’re doing in Georgia and 40 other states.”
Crenshaw hit Biden on that comparison, and asked if the president was intending to pull the U.S. out of the Beijing Olympics.
“Hey Joe Biden, you gonna boycott the Beijing Olympics because of mass genocide?” he asked. “Or are you just into hurting Atlanta small businesses that were planning on the all-star game?”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about Biden’s comments on Friday, and denied that Biden was explicitly calling for a boycott..
“Well, the President has made his view clear that he believes — that he has major concerns about the bill passed in Georgia. He has consistently argued it should be easier and not harder to vote. And he believes that making it a criminal act to deliver water to people waiting in line is not making it easier. We’re also not calling from here for specific actions from businesses,” she said.
Later asked about whether that would extend to Beijing, Paski said that the U.S. Olympic Committee would play a “big role” in such a decision.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.