Gov. Greg Abbott denied the Texas Rangers’ invitation to throw out the first pitch at the baseball team’s home opening game Monday afternoon.
In a letter written to the Texas Rangers on Monday, Abbott cited the Major League Baseball’s decision to move the MLB All-Star game out of Atlanta, Georgia in response to Georgia’s recent election integrity laws.
In a statement, Abbott said the move led to the perpetuation of “false political narratives.”
Abbott said he will no longer participate in any event held by MLB, and that the state of Texas will not seek to host the All-Star game or any other MLB special events.
“Major League Baseball adopted what has turned out to be a false narrative about the election law reforms in Georgia, and, based on that false narrative, moved the MLB All-Star game from Atlanta,” Abbott’s letter read. “It is shameful that America’s pastime is not only being influenced by partisan political politics, but also perpetuating false political narratives. This decision does not diminish the deep respect I have for the Texas Rangers baseball organization, which is outstanding from top to bottom.”
On April 2, Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said in a statement that after conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, The Players Alliance and others, he found the best way to demonstrate the league’s values as a sport was to relocate the All-Star game and MLB Draft.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” Manfred said. “In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.”