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It’s Really Hard to Imagine Why Baseball Has Lost Black Fans

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Baseball is deeply committed to the legacy of Jackie Robinson. On Friday, days after Cindy Hyde-Smith made “joking” comments about lynching and the like, Major League Baseball decided she deserved a $5,000 campaign contribution.

Over the past week, seven major corporations have asked for Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) to refund their contributions. Earlier this month, Hyde-Smith told a crowd at a campaign event that she would be willing to attend a “public hanging.”

But one prominent American institution is going the other direction: Major League Baseball. According to an FEC report filed on November 24, the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball PAC donated $5000, the legal maximum, to Hyde-Smith’s campaign. The contribution is dated November 23.

The Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball PAC was established in 2002. It was formed “as the sport endured a number of potentially crippling controversies, including the threat of a player’s strike and fan anger over the possible contraction of two teams.” The commissioner of Major League Baseball is Rob Manfred.

Charles B. Johnson, the co-owner of the San Francisco Giants, recently donated $2700, the legal maximum to Hyde-Smith. Johnson’s wife, Ann, also contributed the max. The donation spurred outrage from baseball fans online.

Saturday’s filing by Hyde-Smith also included a $5000 donation from Ernst & Young, an accounting firm that publicly touts its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Hyde-Smith was asked about her “public hanging” comments on Saturday and said she was sorry if she “hurt anybody‚Äôs feelings.” Asked to clarify “what it was that offended people,” Hyde-Smith would not answer.

Earlier today, MLB decided to ask for the money back. Brave souls here!

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