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Washington Post columnist derided for declaring MLB teams should get out of Florida for spring training over Gov. Ron DeSantis' 'attack on diversity'

Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

A Washington Post columnist is getting mocked for declaring that Major League Baseball teams should get out of Florida for spring training due to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis' "attack on diversity."

What are the details?

In his Sunday column titled, "Baseball can no longer ignore Ron DeSantis’s culture wars," Kevin B. Blackistone said the 15 MLB teams that call Florida home in February and March "should consider making the annual exercise an all-Cactus League affair" — i.e., set up camp in Arizona instead.

Blackistone took issue with DeSantis calling "a new Advanced Placement high school course in African American studies 'indoctrination'" and dismissing its "educational value" and threatening to "replace the nonprofit College Board that approved it."

The columnist also ripped DeSantis' stand against teaching critical race theory, saying the governor "purposefully disfigured" CRT "into a boogeyman for White citizens who believe they are losing this country that wasn’t theirs in the first place."

Blackistone also seems to have a problem with Florida's "statewide mandate that schoolbooks be age-appropriate and 'suited to student needs,'" along with the new law DeSantis pushed that prohibits public schools from teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity unless it's “age appropriate or developmentally appropriate.”

While Blackistone acknowledged his wish won't become a reality any time soon, he argued that teams "could collectively, or through MLB’s front office, let their displeasure with DeSantis’s leadership, with its hints of the troubling days of yesteryear, be known."

How are readers reacting?

As of Wednesday afternoon, Blackistone's piece has attracted nearly 2,000 comments — but a cursory glance at them shows that a large number of observers aren't batting in Blackistone's lineup. Here are but a few of them:

  • "I hope baseball doesn’t give in to the woke mob," one reader wrote.
  • "DeSantis is not against diversity as the racist author writes," another commenter stated. "He supports meritocracy and not this equity BS and handouts to unqualified people of any color. Earn your way, prove your worth, and don’t expose kindergartners and first graders to sex."
  • "What an unbelievably ignorant column," another commenter opined.
  • "I'm not sure the baseball players want kindergarteners to learn about gender changes instead of their ABCs. Maybe a reporter should ask them," another commenter sarcastically offered.
  • "Enough of the boycott nonsense from sports social justice warrior journalists like this guy," another commenter announced. "Most Americans want their sports to be free from athletes, teams, and leagues becoming political activists — they watch sports to GET AWAY from the endless political & culture war strife."

Anything else?

Major League Baseball tried this kind of thing in 2021, when it moved the All-Star Game out of Atlanta over Georgia's law implementing voting reforms, which the left viewed as restrictive. In the end, commissioner Rob Manfred was publicly ridiculed by fans of the Atlanta Braves after the upstart squad won the World Series.

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