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Gov. Greg Abbott refuses to throw pitch at Rangers game after league pulls All-Star Game out of Atlanta

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a recent news conference. - COURTESY PHOTO / OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
  • Courtesy Photo / Office of the Governor
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a recent news conference.
Talk about poor sportsmanship.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday he won't throw the ceremonial first pitch at the Texas Rangers' home opening game after the league yanked its All-Star Game out of Georgia over the state's restrictive new voting law. He also pledged to boycott the league, and said the state won't attempt to host any of its special events.

Georgia's controversial law is similar to the restrictive bills Abbott and other Republicans are pushing in the Texas Legislature this session. Those proposals would limit voting times and stop local election officials from implementing programs such as drive-thru voting.

"It is shameful that America’s pastime is not only being influenced by partisan political politics, but also perpetuating false political narratives," Abbott said in a letter to a key Rangers executive.

MLB last week announced it wouldn't hold its All-Star Game in Atlanta because it was concerned that the Georgia law would disenfranchise voters of color. Civil-rights groups have raised the same concerns over the Texas bills.

"Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said of the league's decision to relocate the All-Star Game.

Meanwhile, Abbott may soon find himself boycotting other sports. Voting-rights advocates warn that Texas is likely to face economic fallout similar to Georgia's if it proceeds with its own bills to limit poll access.

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