Major League Baseball announced that the All-Star Game and draft would not be held in Atlanta, Georgia, because of the state’s new voting laws.
“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,” Rob Manfred, MLB Commissioner, said in a statement. “I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.”
The Players Alliance supports the MLB’s move.
“We will use our voice, our platform, and our partnerships now more than ever to create real, tangible change for the Black community to stand up for every American’s right to vote,” the group said in a statement on Instagram.
Voting rights activists and lawmakers have called for a boycott against Atlanta-based corporations for not speaking up about the new laws that Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law last week.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” Manfred said.
The legislation requires that voters present identification to retrieve absentee ballots, restricts early voting hours, and outlaws people giving food and drinks to voters in lines. Activists argue that the new law disenfranchises Black and Brown voters.
“Today, Major League Baseball caved to fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies,” Gov. Kemp said. “Georgians – and all Americans – should fully understand what the MLB’s knee-jerk decision means: cancel culture and woke political activists are coming for every aspect of your life, sports, included. If the left doesn’t agree with you, facts and the truth do not matter.”
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tweeted that the law adds unnecessary barriers to the voting process.
“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 mayor tweeted.
It is still unknown where the July 13 game will be played.