Major League Baseball’s website has just had the best 18 days in its history – despite former president Trump telling people to boycott it.
“With close games, exciting star performances & 2 no-hitters to begin the season, MLB.TV registered the most-watched 18-day period in its 20-season history, including the 7 most-watched days ever,” MLB Communications said in a statement.
The record-breaking numbers come less than a month after Donald Trump encouraged people to snub the sport.
“Boycott baseball and all of the woke companies that are interfering with Free and Fair Elections,” the former president said in a statement on 2 April. “Are you listening Coke, Delta, and all!”
Mr Trump had been angry at the league for pulling its All-Star game out of Atlanta, Georgia in protest of the state’s restrictive new voting law. Many people – including corporations with significant business in Georgia – objected to that legislation as unfairly targeting voters of color.
The traditionally red state has become a major sore point for the ex-president, who narrowly lost it to Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
But in spite of Mr Trump’s fury – or possibly because of it – Major League Baseball has had a terrific month.
Opening Day 2021 was the most-watched day in MLB.TV history, the league said. From that day to 18 April, fans have watched 1.34 billion minutes of baseball on the streaming service – a 12 per cent increase over the same period last year.
Mr Trump has long had an awkward relationship with the sport. While most presidents perform a ceremonial first pitch on at least one Opening Day, Mr Trump was never invited to do so, and became furious when the Washington Nationals asked Dr Anthony Fauci to throw one in 2020.
The former president then said he’d been invited to throw out a pitch for the Yankees, but the Yankees denied ever asking him. He then said he was too busy.
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