Major League Baseball Pulls All-Star Game From Georgia
Major League Baseball said Friday it would move its annual All-Star Game out of Georgia, citing the state government’s recent decision to put in place more restrictive measures on who is able to vote in coming elections.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” said Robert D. Manfred, Jr., the league’s commissioner, in a statement.
MLB had awarded the game to Atlanta on May 29, 2019, and the game was scheduled for July 13 as part of baseball’s midsummer break that includes the Futures Game on July 11 and Home Run Derby the following night.
“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,” Manfred said. “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 baseball commissioner said the decision to move the All-Star Game came after a week of “thoughtful conversations” with clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others.
“We will continue with our plans to celebrate the memory of Hank Aaron during this season’s All-Star festivities. In addition, MLB’s planned investments to support local communities in Atlanta as part of our All-Star Legacy Projects will move forward,” Manfred said.
The league is finalizing a new host city and said details about the All Star Game and surrounding events will be announced shortly.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp responded to Major League Baseball’s decision, by saying the league “caved” to “fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies.”
The governor, who made the statement on Twitter, went on to blame the decision by the MLB on his 2018 gubernatorial opponent and voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams and President Joe Biden.
“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.
“This attack on our state is the direct result of repeated lies from Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams about a bill that expands access to the ballot box and ensures the integrity of our elections.”
Kemp added that he would not back down from the voting law he signed into place last week.
“I will not back down. Georgians will not be bullied. We will continue to stand up for secure, accessible, fair elections,” he said.
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