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MLB Distances Itself From $5,000 Donation To Bigoted Cindy Hyde-Smith

It's quiet for the "just stick to sports" crowd.

 

Major League Baseball has been a champion for racial equality and inclusion during commissioner Rob Manfred’s tenure. From the millions, they invest in minority businesses, to their educational and athletic diversity initiatives, MLB is driven by a belief that the best ideas and results come from a multitude of cultures working together.

However, by contributing $5,000 to the Senatorial campaign of Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith — the junior United States Senator from Mississippi whose campaign has drawn a series of negative headlines over the past few weeks — MLB put itself in the line of fire and in the middle of a political firestorm.

Judd Legum on Twitter

BREAKING: Major League Baseball donates $5000 to Cindy Hyde-Smith @MLB https://t.co/uF2RPW4SJh

The 2018 election officially ends today as Mississippi voters head to the polls to choose between Republican Sen. Hyde-Smith and former Rep. Mike Espy (D). Hyde-Smith is considered the favorite in the runoff due to the clear Republican lean of the Magnolia State but her views on race have been thrust to the forefront.


This is a bad look for her, but understandable. She’s part of that MAGA guard that wants to regress the country and suppress poor people and those of color. She is a proud far right wing Republican with ties to President Trump who has campaigned for her last night during this close race.


The progressive blogger, Lamar White Jr., recently posted a video of Hyde-Smith joking that she’d be in “the front row” if one of her supporters invited her to a “public hanging.”

MLB can’t afford to be “outwardly” associated with a politician who speaks such venom. Appropriately, the league is already catching heat from the Black community. 

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Carron J. Phillips on Twitter

I wrote about how MLB got caught red-handed with their donation to Cindy Hyde-Smith, a woman that wants to watch black people hang from trees. Don’t ever try to tell me Major League Baseball cares about black people. @NYDailyNews @NYDNSports https://t.co/AXCmM0c5tv


She’s also down with voter suppression, which is code for finding ways to take voting rights from the disenfranchised. 

Lamar White, Jr. on Twitter

Cindy Hyde-Smith on voter suppression: “And then they remind me, that there’s a lot of liberal folks in those other schools who that maybe we don’t want to vote. Maybe we want to make it just a little more difficult. And I think that’s a great idea.”


Hyde-Smith’s comments created a backlash among people of color and MLB reportedly asked for its donation back.

Judd Legum on Twitter

@MLB UPDATE: Major League Baseball says it has asked Cindy Hyde-Smith to return its $5000 contribution. To support independent, accountability journalism please subscribe to my newsletter. It’s $6. https://t.co/TfpCItdVSo

Apparently, MLB isn’t the only company that has done the socially and morally conscious thing and withdrawn campaign contributions to Hyde-Smith.

Judd Legum on Twitter

UPDATE: Companies that are asking Cindy-Hyde Smith to refund their contributions: Union Pacific Boston Scientific Walmart Leidos AT&T Pfizer Amgen MLB Ernst & Young Companies that are letting Hyde-Smith keep their money: @Google @askRegions https://t.co/Gl6evXRDcZ

The situation has become an embarrassing one for a major sports league that tries its best to stay out of the political fray but got caught in the emotions and media moshpit evoked by the runoff in Mississippi today and the racist words of a disciple from Trump’s evil empire.  



JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The Deputy Editor and Senior Writer is in his 23rd year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, magazines and national TV.

His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.