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Gov. Abbott declines to throw first pitch for Texas Rangers after MLB moves All-Star Game

Gov. Greg Abbott pardons Central Texan
Posted at 11:03 AM, Apr 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-05 12:05:21-04

Governor Greg Abbott said he declined an invitation to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Texas Rangers home opening game due to Major League Baseball's decision to move the All-Star game from Georgia in response to the state's new voting law.

In a statement, the league said the decision came after engaging "in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance."

"Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box," Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr., said.

On Monday, Governor Abbott said he sent a letter to the Texas Rangers baseball organization declining an invitation to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the their home opening citing MLB's decision to "perpetuate false political narratives" by moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta.

Governor Abbott also said that he will no longer participate in any event held by MLB, and that the State of Texas will not seek to host the All-Star game or any other MLB special events.

Governor Abbott said it's "shameful" that America's pastime is "being influenced by partisan politics."

"This decision does not diminish the deep respect I have for the Texas Rangers baseball organization, which is outstanding from top to bottom," Abbott said.

Major League Baseball announced Friday that they were moving the All-Star Game and the 2021 draft from Atlanta, Georgia.

The move comes as a response to the state's new voting law that critics call "unacceptable" and "a step backward.”