MLB donated to Cindy Hyde-Smith despite racially motivated controversies

A Mississippi politician received a $5,000 donation from Major League Baseball, despite racially motivated controversies.

Major League Baseball is not sticking to sports, and it appears to be a questionable decision.

As an organization, MLB recently made a political donation in the Mississippi runoff election, giving $5,000 to Republican candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith. A series of recent events over the past year have made that donation question as Hyde-Smith has become politically problematic to corporations looking to endorse candidates.

The donation was reported publicly on Saturday. MLB asked for the money back on Sunday morning. The donation was made on Nov. 23rd.

She recently made comments about wanting a front row seat at public lynchings, was photographed with a confederate hat and rifle, and came out in favor of honoring Confederate soldiers as heroes of their homeland. This is all against the backdrop of her segregationist upbringing.

Walmart, who had endorsed Hyde-Smith until her controversies came to light, asked for its donation back on November 20th. AT&T and Union Pacific also asked for donations back, citing Hyde-Smith’s actions and statements as reasons. MLB made it’s donation three days after Walmart publically asked for its money back.  The league has since also asked for the donation to be returned.

Full disclosure: MLB’s political action committee regularly makes donations to political candidates on both sides of the aisle. In fact, over $55,000 was donated to Democrats ahead of this year’s midterm elections, but it’s the $5,000 that went to Hyde-Smith that caught everyone’s attention. If Hyde-Smith wins the runoff election, it wouldn’t affect Republican control of the Senate but would widen the majority.

Given the strategy of the PAC, it’s unclear how Hyde-Smith would have helped baseball’s business in Mississippi.

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