FLORIDA — Florida Senator Marco Rubio is joining others in criticizing Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred for the organization's decision on Friday to move this year's All-Star game out of Atlanta, saying the move "reeks of hypocrisy." 

What You Need To Know

  • Florida Senator Marco Rubio criticizes MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred to the league's decision to move the All-Start game out of Atlanta

  • The organization's decision to move the game is in response to Georgia's new voting reform law

  • In the letter, Rubio cites MLB's ties to China and Cuba, and questions Manfred on his membership at an exclusive Georgia golf club

  • Read the full letter here

MLB's decision to change the location of the game is in response to Georgia's new voting reform law, which includes strict photo ID requirements and prohibits handing out water or food to those in line within a certain distance of polling sites.

In a letter on Monday, Rubio argues the decision will "have a bigger impact on countless small and minority-owned businesses in and around Atlanta, than the new election law ever will."

"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," Rubio wrote. 

The Senator also cites ties to China and Cuba and slams the commissioner's "lucrative financial relationship" with a company that has "deep ties to the Communist Party and actively helps the Chinese Government hunt down and silence political dissidents."

"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 (XUAR)?" Rubio wrote. 

In the letter shared with the press, Rubio acknowledges Manfred's right "as a citizen of a free nation" to "speak out against laws in the U.S. you disagree with," but questions his integrity. 

"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."

Also, Rubio questioned whether Manfred would keep his membership at the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club located in Georgia. 

"Similarly, I am under no illusion you intend to resign as a member from Augusta National Golf Club. To do so would require a personal sacrifice, as opposed to the woke corporate virtue signaling of moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta."

Major League Baseball has not responded to the Senator's comments.