Leveling the Playing Field: Senators Swing for Fair Competition in Baseball

June 15, 2023


WASHINGTON – Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced a groundbreaking bill to repeal a century-old judicially-created exemption that grants Major League Baseball (MLB) a unique advantage over other professional sports leagues when it comes to antitrust laws. The proposed legislation aims to promote fair competition within baseball and ensure a level playing field for all teams and leagues, particularly in light of recent controversies surrounding the Dodgers Pride Night and the relocation of the All-Star Game from Atlanta.
The current antitrust exemption, established by the Supreme Court in the 1922 Federal Baseball Club v. National League case, has granted MLB an exceptional legal status that is not enjoyed by any other major professional sports league in the United States. This exemption has shielded baseball from the scrutiny of antitrust laws, impeding competition, and limiting the potential for innovation and growth within the industry.
In a joint statement, Sens. Lee, Rubio, Cruz, and Hawley said, "The time has come to strike out the outdated and unequal treatment that has long benefited the MLB. Just as teams fiercely compete on the diamond, every sports league should operate under the same antitrust regulations. Our bill will level the playing field, removing the century-old exemption that has given the MLB an unfair advantage. It's time to bring baseball in line with other leagues, fostering a competitive environment that sparks innovation, drives excellence, and keeps fans on the edge of their seats."
The senators' proposed bill will aim to remove the antitrust exemption that has long shielded MLB from legal challenges related to anticompetitive behavior, thereby allowing for greater scrutiny and accountability. This legislative action seeks to promote fair competition, provide opportunities for other leagues to thrive, and ultimately benefit players, teams, and fans alike.

For full bill text, click HERE.