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After All-Star Game fiasco, Cruz doubles down on ending MLB's antitrust exemption

Cruz's office reacts to lawsuit filed against the MLB over moving the All Star game from Atlanta, 'remains committed' to ending league's antitrust exemption.

Updated: June 3, 2021 - 10:27am

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With the All-Star game fiasco now entangled in court, Sen. Ted Cruz is doubling down on his pledge to end Major League Baseball's antitrust exemption.

Cruz's office told Just the News on Wednesday that the Texas Republican "remains committed" to revoking the exemption MLB has enjoyed for decades.

MLB was sued this week for up to $1 billion in punitive damages over its decision to pull the All-Star game from Atlanta in response to Georgia's new election law. The lawsuit, filed Monday by the small business group Job Creators Network (JCN), seeks a court order returning the game to the city plus a fund of up to $100 million to help local businesses recover from the abrupt cancellation of an event they had been planning for two years.

A federal judge on Wednesday set a hearing on the suit for June 10. JCN said MLB refused to accept service of the lawsuit.

Cruz, Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and other GOP senators introduced a bill in April that would eliminate MLB's antitrust exemption.

"For nearly a century, Major League Baseball has enjoyed a special exemption from antitrust laws that other professional sports leagues do not," Cruz said when the bill was introduced. "Major League Baseball asks for your ID when you pick up tickets at will-call, but they have made it clear they oppose photo ID requirements to vote."

The lawsuit alleges that the MLB violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment and the Ku Klux Klan Act, formally named the Enforcement Act of 1871. According to the lawsuit, the Enforcement Act is "intended to protect against conspiracies resulting in damages to another in his person or property." 

Just the News asked Cruz's office for the senator's reaction to the lawsuit against the MLB.

“It makes no sense to take tens of millions of dollars out of the pockets of small businesses and workers in Atlanta, many who are African American, all because of Major League Baseball's dishonest ‘woke’ decision making," Cruz's office told Just the News.

"Sen. Cruz remains committed to ending Major League Baseball’s exemption from antitrust laws so that they finally play by the same rules everybody else does,” the office added. Cruz is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has oversight of antitrust issues.

Hawley's office was not immediately available for comment before publication.

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