CNN Lies About DeSantis Denying Funding for Tampa Bay Rays’ Training Facility

AP Photo/John Raoux

The activist media has once again tried – and failed – to concoct another false narrative about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The most recent episode of “Let’s Lie About DeSantis” centered on his decision to veto funding for a Tampa Bay Rays training facility. The press has published reports insinuating this was a political move in response to the baseball team’s support of more gun control, in the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

CNN reports:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis blocked state funding for a new Tampa Bay Rays training facility partly because the baseball team spoke out against gun violence in the wake of back-to-back gun-related massacres in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, a source familiar with the internal conversations told CNN.

DeSantis on Thursday used his line-item veto powers to eliminate $35 million for a sports training and youth tournament complex in Pasco County, in the Tampa Bay area, which local officials hoped could serve as the new player development facility for the Rays. On Friday, he said he eliminated the funding because “I don’t support giving taxpayer dollars to professional sports stadiums.”

The report claims the source said the governor had not yet made up his mind on funding for the sports facility until the Rays “took an organizational stance calling for action in the wake of the latest mass shootings.”

The Rays “announced a $50,000 donation to Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization that advocates policies to prevent gun violence,” two days after the Uvalde shooting, according to the CNN report.

“This cannot be normal,” the team posted on Twitter. “We cannot become numb. We cannot look the other way. We all know, if nothing changes, nothing changes.”

Let’s take a quick pause here.

CNN’s contention that Everytown for Gun Safety is an organization that simply seeks to “prevent gun violence” and that it merely “spoke out against gun violence” is about as honest as the prime oceanfront property in Idaho that I want to sell you, if you actually believe this folderol. The group is a far-leftist organization whose objective is to impose more restrictions on firearms.

Everytown for Gun Safety opposes open carry because “[i]t is exploited by white supremacists,” according to its website.

It seeks to repeal Stand Your Ground Laws because they supposedly “allow people to shoot to kill in public even when they can safely walk away from the danger.”

The organization wants to repeal gun industry immunity because it “blocks legal responsibility for gun manufacturers that have failed to innovate and make guns safer, and for manufacturers, distributors, and dealers with irresponsible, reckless and negligent sales practices that contribute to the flood of illegal firearms in our communities.”

The group also seeks to block federal concealed carry reciprocity legislation because it “would gut state standards for who may carry hidden, loaded handguns in public.”

Need I go on?

This group is not concerned with gun safety. They want fewer law-abiding citizens to own firearms, plain and simple. CNN is clearly being dishonest in how it characterizes the organization.

The report then references DeSantis’ feud with Disney in which he stripped the company of its tax-exempt status for its decision to come out against the Parental Rights in Education law. In this situation, the governor made no bones about his decision to use the state to punish the company for opposing the law. “I’m not comfortable having that type of agenda get special treatment in my state,” he said at the time.

During the press conference on Friday, DeSantis did mention the Rays’ support of gun restrictions, saying it was “inappropriate to subsidize political activism of a private corporation.” But he also said: “Either way, it’s not appropriate, but we were not in a situation where use of tax dollars for a professional stadium would have been a prudent use.”

Later in the CNN article – likely where most would have stopped reading – the outlet acknowledges that the governor was “skeptical of the proposal,” according to its “source.”

A closer look at the situation shows CNN’s report was making a deceptive insinuation. There is no evidence the Rays’ support of gun restrictions influenced DeSantis’ veto. In fact, the governor’s press secretary Christina Pushaw tweeted a video of the press conference, in which he clearly said he was going to veto the Rays’ funding anyway.

Moreover, Gov. DeSantis has previously expressed opposition to sports stadiums receiving taxpayer funding, so this isn’t exactly inconsistent on his part. Also, when he targeted Disney, he was very open about his motivation for doing so – he didn’t attempt to make it sound as if there were other reasons for stripping the company of its tax-exempt status. Unfortunately for the activist media, this was just another in a long line of failed attempts to smear him. What will they come up with next?


Trending on RedState Videos