Yorgo Sarris/Contributing Writer
This is an opinion column.
I don’t watch baseball on television. It is mind-numbingly boring and I can’t even have it on as background noise. It is dreadful, slow and incredibly uninteresting. So when asked if I will boycott the MLB this season, I would answer that I already do. I’ve boycotted it all 20 years of my life, and I wonder how anyone can sit through nine innings of that stuff.
But this isn’t the subject of the column. There indeed is a new contingent of conservatives who say they will boycott watching the MLB this season. The league has announced that it will move its All-Star game out of Atlanta, Georgia, due to Georgia’s new voter law, which according to its detractors, discriminates against minorities, doing its best to combat the unimaginable that happened in 2020: a Democrat winning the state.
His elective majesty (John Adams’ term that I like to use) Mr. Biden won Georgia by a narrow margin, due to a very large increase in Black voter turnout, and about two months later, lightning struck thrice when two Democrats won Georgia’s Senate seats in a run-off election. The State GOP moved to have higher standards of voter certification, out of good or bad faith, I don’t know.
The MLB certainly thought it was in bad faith. I really don’t know what to think. The Wall Street Journal editorial board says the law is “an election reform law that leaves the state with more opportunities to vote than Delaware and New York.” I am inclined to believe them. Brett Stephens of The New York Times assures, “and the changes are being overseen by Brad Raffensperger, the Republican secretary of state, who, just a few months ago, we were all saluting as a national hero for standing up to Trump’s bullying.” I think I will agree with the very fair writer, as in, there is not much to worry about. The outrage seems to be manufactured. But it will be incredibly costly.
Democratic leaders in the state were not happy with the legislature, nor the MLB. The MLB’s Georgia boycott would be the first domino to fall, per Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms, that would lead to a mass economic disaster for local businesses. And by local businesses, I mean restaurants, taxi drivers, local store owners, hotels and other shops who rely on outsiders and tourism for income.
But the question at hand is whether or not people should boycott watching the 2021 MLB season. And I think that would be just as inane. I agree that politics and sports should be divorced; in fact, I think that sports is often an escape from a depressing reality. And sports fans can come together to cheer for their team, even as disagreers on politics. So, one must ask what boycotting baseball will accomplish, and is it even worth it to lose the enjoyment one gets from watching? The same goes for those who called for an NFL boycott. I don’t find it noble or necessary to quit doing something you leisurely enjoy for the sake of making your voice heard in a meaningless battle in a superfluous culture war. If you really want to separate sports and politics, don’t bother to care about the “woke” decisions done by league higher-ups. Enjoy the game, because that’s all it really should be: A game.