MLB suspends political donations in light of attack on U.S. Capitol

Jason Owens
·2 min read

Like a lot of other businesses, MLB is rethinking its political ties in the wake of last week’s deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.

MLB announced on Wednesday that it’s suspending all political contributions in a statement to the Associated Press.

“In light of the unprecedented events last week at the U.S. Capitol, MLB is suspending contributions from its Political Action Committee pending a review of our political contribution policy going forward,” the statement reads.

MLB decision arrives in midst of Trump impeachment debate

News of MLB’s decision broke just before a majority of the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump for a second time in the aftermath of the attack. Trump incited his supporters to march on the U.S. Capitol last week before they breached its walls in an insurrectionist attack that left five dead and several others wounded in an effort to subvert the election of President-elect Joe Biden.

The attack has upended an already tumultuous political landscape with other political leaders like Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley in the crosshairs after joining Trump in his effort to undermine Biden’s electoral college victory.

Some companies have chosen to halt contributions specifically to politicians who voted against certifying Biden’s election. Others, like MLB, are halting political contributions altogether.

Apr 5, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to media before the game between the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. (Denny Medley/Reuters)

Who MLB has given money to

According to AP, MLB has made contributions in the past to two senators and nine representatives who voted last week against certifying Biden. They include Senate Republicans Cruz, and Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi) as well as House Republicans Roger Williams (Texas), Kevin McCarthy (California), David Schweikert (Arizona), Steve Chabot (Ohio), Markwayne Mullin (Oklahoma), Adrian Smith (Nebraska), Michael Burgess (Texas), Rick Crawford (Arkansas) and Elise Stefanik (New York).

Past political controversy for MLB

MLB found itself in hot water in 2018 for its contributions to Hyde-Smith. It asked her campaign to return $5,000 after the Mississippi Senator said of a supporter: “If he invited me to a public hanging, I would be on the front row.”

According to The Center for Responsive Politics, The Commissioner of Major League Baseball Political Action Committee donated a total of $112,500 to candidates in federal elections from 2019-20 with 59.11 percent going to Democratic candidates and 40.89 percent going to Republicans.

Since 2016, the PAC has donated a total of $669,375 to Senate and House candidates with 52.4 percent going to Republican candidates.

MLB is the first major U.S. sports league to announce a change to its political donation strategy since last week’s attacks.

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