Texas Gov. passes on first pitch at Rangers game in protest against MLB

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is refusing to throw out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opener on Monday in protest of Major League Baseball’s decision to pull the All-Star Game out of Atlanta after Georgia’s legislature passed a series of voting reform laws last week.

The governor also said in a letter to the Rangers president of business operations that he will not “participate in an event held by the MLB, and the State will not seek to host the All-Star Game or any other MLB special events.”

“I was looking forward to it — until Major League Baseball adopted what turned out to be a false narrative about the election law reforms in Georgia, and, based on that false narrative, moved the MLB All-Star Game from Atlanta,” Abbott wrote.

“It is shameful that America’s pastime is not only being influenced by partisan political politics, but also perpetuating false political narratives,” he continued.

Chicago Cubs v. Texas Rangers

Texas Gov. Abbot throwing out the first pitch on the Texas Rangers’ Opening Day on March 28, 2019.

MLB via Getty Images

Chicago Cubs v Texas Rangers

Texas Gov. Abbot throwing out the first pitch on the Texas Rangers’ Opening Day on March 28, 2019.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

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The Rangers responded to Abbott’s letter with a statement.

“Governor Abbott’s Office reached out to the Rangers this morning and informed us he would not be attending today’s game. We are focused on today’s home opener at Globe Life Field. Frontline heroes will be participating in today’s ceremonial first pitch prior to the game,” the team said.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced last week that it would pull the game out of Atlanta, saying the league “fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions at the ballot box.”

The voting reforms, passed months after former President Donald Trump lost to President Biden in the Peach State by fewer than 12,000 votes, enacted new rules on absentee voting — requiring a photo ID and shortening the absentee voting window, among other changes aimed at improving election integrity.

Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on April 5, 2021.
Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on April 5, 2021.

It also allows state officials to take over local elections work in response to alleged mismanagement.

A number of Georgia-based corporations, including Coca-Cola and Delta, have also criticized the new voting regulations.

With Post wires