Sports | January 14, 2021 10:00 am

MLB Suspends All Political Donations After Capitol Riot

MLB joins companies like American Airlines, Coca-Cola and Facebook in pausing donations

MLB Suspends All Political Donations After Capitol Riot
Detail shot of a bag of baseballs during Game 1 of the ALCS.
MLB Photos via Getty Images

Joining major companies like American Airlines, Coca-Cola and Facebook, Major League Baseball is suspending political donations of any kind following the deadly riot at the Capitol last week in Washington D.C., The Associated Press reports.

“In light of the unprecedented events last week at the U.S. Capitol, MLB is suspending contributions from its Political Action Committee pending a review of our political contribution policy going forward,” the league said in a statement to the AP.

MLB’s PAC has donated $669,375 to Senate and House candidates since the 2016 election cycle, with 52.4 percent of that money going to Republican candidates, according to The Center for Responsive Politics.

While the National Football League did not commit to suspending donations, the league is going to examine how it distributes money to politicians. “We are re-evaluating our political giving policies through the Gridiron PAC,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the AP.

While companies like Amazon, Intel and Nike have said they are cutting donations to Republican members of the House and Senate who voted to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump, organizations like MLB have paused giving money to both political parties.

Charles Schwab is taking its reaction a step further and will shut down its political action committee altogether “in light of a divided political climate and an increase in attacks on those participating in the political process.” The PAC’s remaining funds will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of America and historically Black colleges and universities.

Since the 2016 election cycle, MLB has given money to a pair of senators and nine representatives who were among those fighting certification of Biden’s victory.

According to Sports Illustrated, MLB spent $1.24 million on political lobbying in 2019, second among American sports behind only the NFL ($1.35 million).

“Virtually all large corporations and large organizations in the United States do at least some level of lobbying,” Beth Leech, a professor of political science at Rutgers University who researches lobbying, told SI last year. “If you look at Major League Baseball and the NFL, they’re spending more than a million dollars a year, and that’s on the high-ish end, but it’s by no means near the top.”

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