The Major League Baseball Association has taken steps to combat the recent voting laws in Georgia. This past Friday, the MLB announced the 2021 All-star Game will be moved out of Atlanta. With this sudden and shocking change from one of the four major North American sports companies, the spotlight is now on other US businesses to take part in the protection of civil rights. The MLB also included the newest addition to the All-star weekend, MLB Draft, in one of the events also being relocated.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the league was “finalizing a new host city and details about these events will be announced shortly.”
Manfred released an official statement detailing the change.
“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 Players Alliance, consisting of present and former players, also has been outspoken about the recent voting laws in Georgia. They threw their support behind Manfred’s decision.
“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 past few days, politics in Georgia have been closely monitored with various civil rights groups and leaders speaking out. The nation is watching the aftermath of the bill being signed into law. It’s been reported more Republican states are following Georgia’s plan and drafting up their own voter suppression laws. Once again, the nation is divided even more in the past few years since former President Trump took office.
President Biden, upon hearing the news, has “fully supported the MLB’s decision.” On the other side, former President Trump calls MLB’s decision “outlandish.” Trump calls for a boycott of the MLB. Through all this, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has remained firm on the voting law.
“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.”