ST. LOUIS–Major League Baseball has operated for nearly 100 years with some form of an exemption from federal antitrust laws, a status which has been challenged several times in that time span.
The latest challenge comes in the form of legislation introduced by a group of lawmakers including Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, in the wake of MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game and the 2021 MLB Draft out of Georgia. Lawmakers there passed election reform legislation that is seen as restrictive.
Supporters of the law have said it merely ensures election integrity and stamps out potential fraud. Others have said the motives are more sinister after an election that registered nearly 5 million votes with no credible evidence of serious wrongdoing.
“For decades, the MLB has been given a sweetheart deal by Washington politicians. But if they’d prefer to be partisan political activists instead, maybe it’s time to rethink that. With their capitulation to the left-wing Twitter mob and support for Biden’s big lie about election integrity, they’ve forfeited any right to an anti-trust exemption. They must be held to the same standard as the rest of American business,” Hawley said earlier this week.
The impact of losing the exemption is difficult to measure exactly, although analysts believe the largest effect would come in the areas of franchise relocation and MLB’s relationship with its minor league system.