MLB will transfer the 2021 All-Star Game and MLB Draft out of Atlanta as a consequence of Georgia’s restrictive new election legal guidelines, Commissioner Rob Manfred introduced Friday.
“Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views,” Manfred said in a statement. “I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.”
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” he added.
It’s unclear the place the All-Star Game, initially scheduled for July 13 at Atlanta’s Truist Park, may be held now.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms met the information with grim resignation.
“Just as elections have consequences, so do the actions of those who are elected,” she tweeted Friday. “Unfortunately, the removal of the MLB All Star game from GA is likely the 1st of many dominoes to fall, until the unnecessary barriers put in place to restrict access to the ballot box are removed.”
The Atlanta Braves mentioned they had been “deeply disappointed” by MLB transferring occasions from their metropolis, however got here out in help of voting rights.
“This was neither our decision, nor our recommendation and we are saddened that fans will not be able to see this event in our city,” the staff mentioned in a press release. “The Braves organization will continue to stress the importance of equal voting opportunities and we had hoped our city could use this event as a platform to enhance the discussion.”
In an interview with ESPN on Wednesday, President Joe Biden advised SportsCenter host Sage Steele he could be supportive if MLB determined to decamp for a extra hospitable state.
“The very people who are victimized the most are the people who are leaders in these very sports,” Biden advised ESPN. “And it’s just not right. This is Jim Crow on steroids, what they’re doing there in Georgia and 40 other states.”
Last week, Georgia’s Republican-controlled authorities pushed via sweeping new restrictions that restrict entry to the poll field. Among different issues, the regulation imposes strict voter identification necessities for absentee ballots, limits poll drop-box areas, provides the legislature better management over elections, and criminalizes providing meals and water to voters standing in line.
The heads of Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines, that are each headquartered in Georgia, have denounced the laws.
Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey known as the regulation “a step backwards” in an interview with CNBC on Wednesday. “This legislation is wrong and needs to be remediated,” he mentioned.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian told employees in a memo that “the entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 elections.”
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