Major League Baseball has requested a return of a $5,000 donation to Cindy Hyde-Smith, the Mississippi Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, amid the fallout from her controversial remark about attending a “public hanging.”
Hyde-Smith, who will face Black Democratic candidate Mike Espy in a runoff election Tuesday, has been under fire since she was caught at a Nov. 2 campaign event telling a supporter that she would “be on the front row” of a “public hanging” if he invited her.
MLB, which made the donation Friday, three weeks after her comment, request Sunday that she return the money.
“The contribution was made in connection with an event that MLB lobbyists were asked to attend,” an league spokesperson said in a statement. “MLB has requested that the contribution be returned.”
Major League Baseball joined several companies and organizations, including Walmart and Union Pacific, that have called for the Hyde-Smith campaign to return funds.
For her part, Hyde-Smith eventually apologized but said her remark was an exaggeration and was being “twisted.”
Hyde-Smith, who has held the seat since veteran Republican Sen. Thad Cochran retired in April for health reasons, will face Espy on Tuesday to serve the remaining two years of Cochran’s term.