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Gov. DeSantis vetoes funding for new Tampa Bay Rays practice facility

Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Florida's new state budget will not include $35 million for a Pasco County baseball practice facility slated to be used by the Tampa Bay Rays, in what many are calling the latest move by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to punish organizations that push progressive causes.

The maverick Republican governor vetoed funds for the spring training facility on Thursday — among a slew of other items — after the Major League Baseball organization went on lengthy social media tirade about gun control last week.

DeSantis has not publicly offered his reasoning for vetoing the facility and, in fact, has a long history of opposing public funding for sports stadiums. But that hasn't stopped people from making assumptions.

Following the highly-publicized mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y, and Uvalde, Texas, the Tampa Bay Rays issued a statement calling on Congress to pass stricter gun control legislation.

"This cannot become normal. We cannot become numb. We cannot look the other way. We all know, if nothing changes, nothing changes," the team said while announcing a $50,000 gift to Everytown for Gun Safety’s support fund.

The team would go on to join the New York Yankees in replacing its usual social media game coverage with live-tweeted facts about the impacts of gun violence.

"Every day, more than 110 Americans are killed with guns, and more than 200 are shot and injured," the team tweeted, adding, "Firearms were the leading cause of death for American children and teens in 2020," among other statements.

On Thursday, DeSantis, a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, vetoed funding for the Odessa facility. According to The Hill, the complex was "widely expected to be signed into the state’s budget."

It wouldn't be the first time that DeSantis has defended his conservative agenda against woke organizations with radical political beliefs. The governor took on Disney earlier this year after the entertainment company publicly opposed popular legislation seeking to guard children from unnecessary discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in school.

DeSantis stripped Disney of its longstanding special district status in the state, which afforded the entertainment behemoth self-governing privileges and special tax status.

TheBlaze has reached out to the governor's office seeking clarification on whether or not the Rays anti-gun rant played a factor in his decision to veto the training facility.

For now, it appears a spokeswoman for DeSantis, Christina Pushaw, may have offered a clue by curiously retweeting Newsweek editor Josh Hammer's take on the news, according to Mediate.

Image Source: Twitter screenshot

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