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Archived: Major League Baseball Donated to Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith After Video of 'Public Hanging' Remark Surfaced

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s “joke” about attending “a public hanging” — a method of domestic terrorism that killed hundreds of Black people in Mississippi — resulted in major companies withdrawing their support, except for Major League Baseball (MLB). Hyde-Smith recently received the legal maximum donation of $5,000 from the MLB.

A Mississippi midterm election runoff between Hyde-Smith and Democratic opponent Mike Espy, who is African American, is set for Tuesday. On Nov. 11,
a video at a campaign rally in Tupelo surfaced, which showed Hyde-Smith expressing admiration for a rancher by saying, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.”

The Office of the Commissioner of MLB made the donation to Hyde-Smith on Nov. 23, according to Judd Legum of
Popular Information, who revealed a Federal Election Commission report filed on Nov. 24.

Legum’s report states the committee was formed “as the sport endured a number of potentially crippling controversies, including the threat of a player’s strike and fan anger over the possible contraction of two teams.”

Meanwhile, on Nov. 21, Charles B. Johnson, the principal owner of the San Francisco Giants, and his wife, Ann,
each donated $2,700 to Hyde-Smith’s campaign.

That donation came after a photo surfaced of
Hyde-Smith wearing Confederate garb.

In October, Johnson gave $1,000 to the Black Americans for the President’s Agenda. It’s a Super PAC that has a Black figurehead, yet is funded by a number of wealthy white conservatives.

A racist and misogynistic radio ad created by the PAC in support of Republican Rep. French Hill warned, “Democrats will be lynching Black folk again.”

Related Story: San Francisco Giants Owner Donates to Super PAC That Warns Democrats Could Bring Back Lynchings

Many expressed their disappointment at MLB for the donation to Hyde-Smith, including sports journalist Jemele Hill, who tweeted:

On Sunday morning, due to backlash, MLB said it would ask for its donation back:

Reader Question: Charles B. Johnson, the principal owner of the San Francisco Giants, continues to make political donations to controversial candidates. What should players on the team do if they disagree

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