Senate Judiciary Committee is asking questions about MLB’s antitrust exemption

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I can’t sit here and tell you that the Senate Judiciacy Committee questioning the legality of MLB’s century-spanning antitrust exemption is going to go anywhere productive. What I do know, though, is that the lone road to removing the antitrust exemption goes through Congress, and not the Supreme Court, so this is news worth taking note of all the same.

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Bernie Sanders threatened MLB’s antitrust exemption, and an old task force better support that

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A little over one year ago, I wrote about how it’s too late for the United States Congress to save Minor League Baseball like some of its members had hoped to prior to MLB’s disaffiliation of dozens of teams, but that there was still time to punish the league for their monopolistic actions. The punishment that would work best was and is the removal of MLB’s antitrust exemption, the existence of which allowed them to get away with shrinking the minors without anything stopping them from doing so in the first place.

While there was basically silence on the issue coming from Congress from the time I wrote that last February until now… well, now is a little different, because Senator Bernie Sanders is making the removal of MLB’s antitrust exemption a priority. Legislation has been introduced, and as Sanders explained on HBO’s Real Sports, it’s not just because of MLB’s removal of 40 minor-league clubs, but also the owner-imposed lockout that was clearly designed to just break the union and gain further control and power over the players.

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MLB supports voting rights, immediately has antitrust exemption threatened

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On Friday, Major League Baseball pulled the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta in response to Georgia’s recently enacted voter suppression laws, those laws themselves a response to Georgia’s voters rejecting as much of the Republican party as they could in recent elections. You know, like the one that booted the truly wretched (and never elected) Kelly Loeffler from office and also convinced her to sell her stake in the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream.

You can debate whether what MLB is doing is the right thing or not — do the people in Georgia who will be impacted by this restriction of voting rights want these boycotts of the state? Is this anything more than a corporate reaction to which way the winds are blowing, in the same way their empty rhetoric around Black Lives Matter was around one year ago? — but what’s undeniable is that the decision to pull the All-Star Game out of Atlanta has infuriated the right. That’s no surprise, given they’ve been trying to spin what’s going on in Georgia as a strengthening of voter rights, not a direct attack on them, and also because like, three-quarters of what they’re up to now is culture war, America-is-being-canceled bullshit. MLB basically threw catnip for racists at a bunch of racists.

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