Well, yes. Which is why I wrote yesterday that something must be going on behind the scenes to explain Biden’s boycott enthusiasm for the All-Star Game and subsequent neutrality towards the Masters. There’s no way to reconcile those positions logically. His “evolution” can only be explained by political pressures to which we’re not privy.
Or maybe he just hates baseball?
It could be that the White House has gotten some polling in the last few days to make them think twice. A new SurveyMonkey poll for the Daily Wire finds that Americans are leery about sports becoming more politicized and warmer towards parts of Georgia’s new law than the “Jim Crow 2.0” demagoguery would lead you to expect:
Another interesting finding of the poll is that, despite an avalanche of negative media coverage, key provisions of Georgia’s new election law are actually popular. 78% of respondents, including a majority of Democrats, MLB fans, non-white Americans, and all age groups, support the law’s ID requirement for absentee voting. 63% of respondents, including a majority of non-whites, and 48% of Democrats, support Georgia’s law restrictions on the handing out of gifts, including refreshments, to voters near polling stations and voting lines. Meanwhile, 67% of respondents, including a majority of Democrats and non-whites, support Georgia’s new policies regulating ballot drop boxes.
The study also finds that support for the Georgia law grew significantly after Americans learned about its major provisions. Initially, 42% of Americans said they were supportive of the law and 38% opposed it. After learning about the legislation, 71% said they were “more supportive” of the Georgia law.
While 55% of Americans polled were initially supportive of MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta, over half (54%) said they became “less supportive” of the league’s action after learning what the new Georgia election law contains.
I’m sure Biden’s getting an earful from corporate America too. MLB was hung out to dry once he said he’d “strongly support” moving the All-Star Game, particularly given the “Jim Crow on steroids” rhetoric he was using to describe the law. Insisting on holding the game in Atlanta after the president had all but called for a boycott would have implicitly placed baseball on the side of the law and “Jim Crow.” And it would have created headaches within the sport as activists and media wokesters shifted their pressure from the league’s head office to the players themselves.
2/ MLB officials made the decision because if they didn’t then the decision would be left to individual players, individual All-Stars, some of whom no doubt would have individually boycotted the game themselves.
In short: There was no way to avoid this becoming political.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) April 7, 2021
4/ So @MLB did what they thought was taking one for the team, as it were, trying to protect the individual players and to operate as a cohesive whole, the source tells CNN.
Whatever you think of the decision, that was part of the calculation.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) April 7, 2021
Imagine if several MLB superstars declared they’d sit out the game rather than play in Georgia. Every other All-Star would then have to choose between playing, which would implicitly position them on the side of the law and against their teammates, or sitting out in solidarity. Get enough guys to boycott and suddenly you’re at risk of not being able to hold the game. And once that risk became clear, it might have been too late to find another venue.
Jittery executives from other major companies are doubtless dialing Ron Klain this week and pleading with him not to put them in the same no-win position that Biden put MLB. Fine, they’ll criticize the law, but don’t have the president force them to choose between alienating one huge segment of the population — and their own employees — or the other. Although one could argue that Biden inadvertently did them a favor by putting pressure on baseball: Now that the left’s appetite to punish Georgia has been sated to some degree, the focus on other companies to follow suit may have diminished.
Who’s going to ask every CNN employee, every day, how their company can in good conscience keep their headquarters in Atlanta?
Nobody is, because most of us are not sociopaths.
— That Guy (@DanFosterType) April 7, 2021
That also helps explain why Augusta has received hardly any flak at all for proceeding with the Masters as planned. The PGA Tour announced this week that it wouldn’t move the Tour Championship from Atlanta this year either “because of the economic and charitable repercussions the decision would have on nearby impoverished areas,” in the NYT’s words. Progressive activists will probably tolerate that, partly because they’ve already gotten a scalp with the All-Star Game and partly because lefty stars like Stacey Abrams and Jon Ossoff have been hollering at them that boycotts are a bad idea. With Biden climbing back on the fence, some of the momentum among the leadership class, at least, has faded. MLB’s may be the only major corporate boycott we see. But stay tuned.