Major League Baseball just caved to pressure from the left including from Joe Biden and will move the 2021 All-Star Game and first-year player draft out of Atlanta. The game was originally scheduled for July 13 at the Braves’
Commissioner Rob Manfred released the following statement through the league:
“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. 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.
“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.
“We are finalizing a new host city and details about these events will be announced shortly,” he added.
From CBS Sports:
MLB Players Association director Tony Clark told the Boston Globe that the union body is “very much aware” of the bill signed by Georgia governor Brian Kemp recently that overhauled the state’s election laws. The bill includes “new restrictions on voting by mail and gives the legislature greater control over how elections are run,” according to CBS News. It has been opposed by both Democrats and voting rights groups who believe the law will “disproportionately disenfranchise voters of color.”
Clark told the Globe that “we have not had a conversation with the league on that issue” before adding that “if there is an opportunity to, we would look forward to having that conversation.”
President Joe Biden offered his support to the MLB Players Association ahead of Opening Day. “I think today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly,” he said during an interview on ESPN. “I would strongly support them doing that. People look to them. They’re leaders.”
Should MLB relocate the event, it would mimic how the National Basketball Association moved its own All-Star Game from Charlotte, North Carolina in 2017. The NBA did so in response to laws that discriminated against the LGBTQIA+ community.
Breaking News: Rebuking Georgia’s new elections law, Major League Baseball moved this summer’s All-Star Game from Atlanta. The move comes after days of pressure from civil rights groups and the MLB Players Association. https://t.co/OwupImSkgu— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 2, 2021
NEW YORK (AP) — MLB moving All-Star Game from Atlanta in response to voting restrictions.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 2, 2021