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MLB requests donation to Cindy Hyde-Smith be returned

November 25, 2018

Major League Baseball wants back a $5,000 donation the league’s lobbyists made to U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, Mississippi Republican, who has come under fire this month for a phrase she used that referenced public hangings.

“The contribution was made in connection with an event that MLB lobbyists were asked to attend,” an MLB spokesperson said. “MLB has requested that the contribution be returned.”

From MLB spokesperson, about the $5,000 donation to Senate candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith: “The contribution was made in connection with an event that MLB lobbyists were asked to attend. MLB has requested that the contribution be returned.” Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 25, 2018

Hyde-Smith is in the midst of a run-off election against Democratic candidate Mike Espy. At a campaign event, she tried to compliment a supporter by saying, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be in the front row,” which many took to be suggestive and inappropriate given Mississippi’s history of racial violence. But Hyde-Smith refused to apologize for the remark and claimed her words were “twisted.”

It was worsened by the fact that Espy, her opponent, is black.

MLB follows in the footsteps of Walmart, Union Pacific and Boston Scientific, which all have asked for donations to Hyde-Smith be returned as well.

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