The Toronto Blue Jays take to the field to warm up the team before a major league baseball game … [+] against the New York Yankees on opening day at Yankee Stadium, Thursday, April 1, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo / Kathy Willens)

Associated press

America’s pastime has always been about a “friendly” rivalry – even if you were a New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox fan, sometimes the rivalry wasn’t exactly that friendly. However, baseball was something Americans from all walks of life and from all parts of the country could generally agree on (save for the established batsman rule), putting differences aside and focusing on the action on the diamond, not the world, for nine innings outside the ball park.

Until Major League Baseball announced on Friday that it would reschedule the 2021 All-Star game from Atlanta in response to a new law in Georgia that some have argued will restrict electoral access in Peach State. Many called for companies to be boycotted in Georgia, and MLB responded. In addition, it was announced that the draft MLB for 2021 will also be postponed.

“Over the past week we have had thoughtful discussions with clubs, past and current players, the Players Association and the Players Alliance, among others, to hear their views,” said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in a statement. “I’ve decided that the best way to demonstrate our values ​​as a sport is to move this year’s All-Star game and this year’s MLB draft.”

The MLB is still finalizing a new host city, but shortly after the announcement, many were crying on social media and on Saturday morning the hashtag #BoycottMLB started to be trending.

Some of those calling for the boycott went to Twitter and other social platforms and compared what it takes to pick up a ticket at the stadium to what it takes to vote.

“If you go to Fenway Park, you need photo ID to pick up tickets at the window, photo ID to buy a beer, photo ID to use a credit card, but they don’t agree with the vote Good luck. #BoycottMLB, “wrote the official account for the John DePetro Show (@JohnDePetroshow) on the radio.

The sentiment was shared by another conservative radio host, Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC), who added, “What do we do about it now? Are you still going to tune in to your favorite team? Go to the ball game and drop $ 300 on tickets . ” Food and Merch? Will you keep filling the pockets of people who hate you? “

There were also those who then used the hashtag to show their support for the MLB and further challenge the new voter laws in Georgia. It was also quickly noticed that the same calls to boycott Major League Baseball came from voices who have been loudly complaining about “culture breaking” over the past few weeks.

“It’s funny, the people who keep complaining about ‘culture breaking’ try #BoycottMLB, you literally can’t make it up, they’re the biggest group of losers I’ve ever seen and I thank God they keep going lose, “wrote Ken Sledge (@KennySledge), host of YouTube channel Sledghammer Horror.

#Boycott Crazy

On Saturday morning it had even become difficult to say which side of the problem many of the recent “#Boycott” hashtags are on. Earlier this week, #BoycottDelta and #BoycottCocaColaCo had established themselves as Georgia-based companies after the electoral law passed, but as sponsors of the MLB, calls to boycott these companies have apparently shifted.

That made it confusing to say where at least some social media users were on the topic:

Boycotts on social media

Such calls to boycott are hardly new, but social media has added power with a simple hashtag.

“Absolutely,” said tech futurist and brand strategist Scott Steinberg. “Social media is the largest megaphone in the world. Before you could boycott and reach out to your friends and friends of friends, efforts were limited. But social media has increased that effort exponentially. It is much easier to find your tribe now. Inspire your tribe and motivate your tribe for a certain cause. “

Notably, in the past few months such efforts to engage with an individual’s actions or corporate strategy have been viewed as “culture breaking,” but now both sides of the political corridor are turning the tide of these social media-driven calls for boycotts same tactic.

“Yes, basically anyone can use social media to motivate the masses, regardless of their political orientation,” added Steinberg. “Social media simply serves as the connective tissue of the internet. This way, effectively anyone who wants to amplify their voice can go to the platforms and then connect with a much wider audience. It’s ‘free speech’ at 10 or even 11 volume . “

The question then is whether these social media driven calls actually make a meaningful difference. Major League Baseball may have concerns as it tries to bring fans back after the pandemic that cut the season off last year. The last thing to worry about is a backlash – but will that happen?

“It couldn’t,” said Steinberg. “When you think about it, posting on social media really doesn’t scream. Social media may be a hotbed for trying new ideas and giving thought leaders a chance to get their message across to the masses, but it’s about seeing what connects and what. ” Sticks. “