Marco Rubio calls out MLB Commissioner for Augusta membership
Image via AP.

Moving the league's All Star game from Atlanta was an act of hypocrisy, the Senator contends.

Sen. Marco Rubio joined conservative voices calling foul on Major League Baseball for moving its All-Star Game from Atlanta. The Miami Republican specifically called out Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred for keeping a membership with the Augusta National Golf Club.

“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,” Rubio said. “To do so would require a personal sacrifice, as opposed to the woke corporate virtue signaling of moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta.”

The league on Friday announced it would move the All-Star Game in protest of Georgia’s new election law, which includes strict photo ID requirements and a prohibition on handing water and food out to those in line within a certain distance of polling sites.

Augusta National, while also being in Georgia, has its own controversial history of excluding women members and Black golfers. It is the home to the annual Masters tournament.

In a letter to Manfred and shared with press, Rubio called out the Commissioner for making a decision that could hurt Atlanta’s economy while keeping an Augusta membership card in his wallet.

“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,” Rubio wrote. “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.”

A longtime foreign policy hawk, Rubio also slammed MLB’s relationships with China and Cuba. The Senator notably heavily criticized a deal MLB cut in 2018 regarding Cuban nationals playing in the league.

“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?” Rubio wrote.

“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.”

Rubio acknowledged the league can choose to conduct its business how it chooses, but he questioned the integrity of the decision.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]

One comment

  • Thomas palmer

    April 5, 2021 at 7:39 pm

    What clubs admit Rubio?
    This is a false equivalency.

Comments are closed.


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