Significant League Baseball declared Friday that it is moving the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta because of new Georgia law that has civil rights groups concerned about its potential to restrict voting access for people of color.
The 2021 MLB draft, new addition to All-Star Game festivities this year, will likewise be migrated.
In an articulation, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the alliance is “finalizing a new host city and details about these events will be announced shortly.” A source disclosed to ESPN that the 2022 All-Star Game is as yet made arrangements for Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and that that site will not be moved up to fill the void this summer.
“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 his 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. In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.”
The Atlanta Braves said they were “deeply disappointed” by the outcome.
“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 group said in an explanation. “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. Our city has always been known as a uniter in divided times and we will miss the opportunity to address issues that are important to our community.
“Unfortunately, businesses, employees and fans in Georgia are the victims of this decision.”
The Players Alliance, comprising of in excess of 100 current and former players who have joined with an end goal to enable Black people group, showed up to openly endorse MLB’s choice with an explanation that read to some extent: “We want to make our voice heard loud and clear in our opposition of the recent Georgia legislation that not only disproportionately disenfranchises the Black community, but also paves the way for other states to pass similarly harmful laws based largely on widespread falsehoods and disinformation.”
The White House said President Joe Biden upholds the choice also.
“The President has made his concerns about the bill passed in Georgia clear, given its extreme provisions that impact the ability of so many citizens to cast their votes,” the White House said. “He said earlier this week that if the decision was made by Major League Baseball to move the All-Star game, he would certainly support that decision – and now that MLB has made that choice, he certainly does.”
In an articulation, previous President Donald Trump blasted the move and asked his allies to “boycott baseball and all of the woke companies that are interfering with Free and Fair Elections.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp endorsed into law a week ago a sweeping, Republican-supported bill that remembers new restrictions for casting a ballot via mail and more prominent administrative power over how races are run. The bill, which likewise prohibits volunteers from distributing food and water for voters waiting in line, was finished on March 25 around 15 miles from the Braves’ arena, Truist Park.
The new voting law, SB202, came in the wake of the first Democratic victories in presidential and Senate elections in Georgia in an age, which set off rehashed problematic affirmations by Trump that the state’s election was fraudulent. Allies of the new law have said it only guarantees political race respectability and stamps out likely extortion, while pundits have portrayed it as a voter-suppression tactic that would make it more hard for minorities, especially ethnic minorities, to cast a ballot, refering to how it decreases polling form access in metropolitan networks that lean Democrat.
A new examination of the 98-page bill by The New York Times identified 16 provisions that either hinder Georgians’ right to vote or strip power from state and local elections officials and offer it to legislators.
The lead representative said in a proclamation that MLB “caved to fear” by moving the All-Star Game.
“I will not back down. Georgians will not be bullied,” Kemp said. “We will continue to stand up for secure, accessible, fair elections. Earlier today, I spoke with the leadership of the Atlanta Braves who informed me they do not support the MLB’s decision.”
Stacey Abrams, a Democratic previous Georgia gubernatorial candidate and voting rights activist, tweeted about her disappointment but understanding over MLB’s choice.
“Like many Georgians, I am disappointed that the MLB is relocating the All-Star game; however, I commend the players, owners and League commissioner for speaking out,” Abrams wrote. “I urge others in positions of the leadership to do so as well.”
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Democrat, said she upholds MLB’s choice. Atlanta will most likely partake in the monetary misfortune, however the Braves’ home arena is presently situated external the city, in rural Cobb County.
“Unfortunately, the removal of the MLB All-Star Game from Georgia is likely the first of many dominoes to fall until the unnecessary barriers put in place to restrict access to the ballot box are removed,” Bottoms said in a statement.
Los Angeles Dodgers administrator Dave Roberts, who is to direct the National League All-Star group, commended MLB for moving the game from Georgia.
“I think in a world now where people want and need to be heard — and in this particular case, people of color — for Major League Baseball to listen and do something about it, to be proactive, it sets a tone,” said Roberts, the son of a Black father and Japanese mother.
MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said last Friday that he “would look forward” to conversations around moving the Midsummer Classic – scheduled for July 13 – out of Atlanta. Five days from that point onward, Biden, who won Georgia by under 12,000 votes, revealed to SportsCenter he would “strongly support” such a choice, calling the new bill “Jim Crow on steroids.”
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who has a ownership stake in the Boston Red Sox, was among those communicating support for MLB’s choice on Twitter.
In spite of moving the All-Star Game, Manfred said that “MLB’s planned investments to support local communities in Atlanta as part of our All-Star Legacy Projects will move forward” and that unbelievable Braves player Hank Aaron, who passed on in January, would in any case be praised during the All-Star festivities.
Atlanta has previously hosted the All-Star Game twice, in 1972 and 2000.
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