The baseball league pulls the All-Star Game from Georgia over the voter law
Major League Baseball said Friday it would relocate the Atlanta All-Star game this year to protest Georgia’s new restrictive voting law – the first significant movement by a sports organization to spread corporate reaction to Republican legislation.
It was just one day in the 2021 season, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the game of the year will move to an as yet unspecified location due to newly signed Georgia legislation.
The league “essentially supports the right to vote for all Americans and opposes ballot restrictions,” Manfred said, adding that “fair access to voting continues to be a constant support of our game.”
This month is a major setback for new legislation signed by Georgian Republican Gov. Brian Kemp reduces early voting and postal voting, critics say they disproportionately target black voters. The U.S. legislature is among more than 300 bills introduced by the U.S. legislature this year that restrict access to voting, including the Brennan Center, non-partisan law and policy institutes.
Kemp said on Friday that MLB had abandoned “fear, political opportunism and liberal lies” and called the All-Star Game an “attack on our state.”
Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, described MLB’s decision as an “unfortunate consequence” of what few politicians described as an effort to maintain power at the expense of Georgia’s electorate.
“My hope is that businesses, athletes and animators can protest this law not by leaving Georgia but by coming here and confronting the removal of voters and working hand in hand with the community,” he said.
The Atlanta Braves, MLB franchise, said its facility would host this year’s game In a statement on Twitter the move was “neither our decision nor our recommendation” and “unfortunately Georgian businesses, employees and fans are the victims of this decision.”
On Wednesday, dozens of black U.S. executives signed a public letter asking the American corporation to oppose Georgia legislation, writing that “the new law and others like it are both anti-democratic and non-American and wrong.”
Since that letter was published, the chief Managers of Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines, Two of Atlanta’s largest companies, and dozens of others like Uber, Salesforce and PayPal he publicly condemned the legislation.
The MLB movement underscores the growing commitment of sports organizations to citizens, especially in light of racial injustice in the U.S. over the past year. After protests over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others The commissioner of the National Football League apologized for not playing with players who had previously protested police brutality, such as Colin Kaepernick.
Several leagues, including the NFL, MLB and the National Basketball Association, put the Black Lives Matter brand on the stadiums and player equipment in recent stadiums.
The MLB All-Star Game move is likely to have a material impact on Georgia’s economy. The annual game, a summer clash between the top two players in the league, regularly adds $ 60 million or more to the host city coffers. According to the Baseball Almanac.
It is not the first time that a professional sportsman has taken a high-level game out of political reflection. In 2016, the NBA decided to take its own All-Star Game out of Charlotte, North Carolina, in a situation against a bill which limited support for discrimination against the LGBTQ community.
Partial repeal of this bill, known as the “common bill” with the family. it paved the way for compromise between the league and local authorities, and the match returned to Charlotte in 2019.
This year’s MLB star game will be of special importance after beating Atlanta’s civil rights icon and Atlanta Braves star Hank Aaron, although Manfred said that commemorative events in his honor are still on schedule, wherever the match is played.
Additional news by Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson in New York and Lauren Fedor in Washington