Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he will not throw out the first pitch at the Rangers’ home opener in protest over Major League Baseball’s decision to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta.
Abbott made the announcement on Monday, hours before he was scheduled for the honorary first toss at Globe Life Field ahead of the Rangers’ opener against the Toronto Blue Jays.
“I was looking forward to throwing out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opening game until MLB adopted what has turned out to be a false narrative about Georgia’s election law reforms. It is shameful that America’s pastime is being influenced by partisan politics,” read the letter tweeted out by Abbott, a Republican.
Abbott addressed the letter to Rangers COO Neil Leibman.
Further, Abbott said he will not “participate in any event held by MLB” and that Texas would not seek to host the All-Star Game.
Abbott made it clear his decision did “not diminish the deep respect I have for the Texas Rangers baseball organization.”
MLB announced Friday that it is moving the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta in response to a new Georgia law that could impact voting access rights. The All-Star Game was scheduled for July 13 at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves.
The Braves said they were “deeply disappointed” about the decision to move the game from Atlanta.
“This was neither our decision nor our recommendation and we are saddened that fans will not be able to see this event in our city,” the team said in a statement.