Major League Baseball is moving its all-star game out of Atlanta after the state of Georgia passes voting laws that will disproportionately hit citizens of the color. An action Commissioner Rob Manfred said on Friday was “the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport. ”
MLB’s removal of one of its jeweled events – which will include the draft for the first time this year – comes after a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic and the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer caused the sports industry to reconsider the event Influence within society.
This recalibration was felt most in Georgia, where members of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream organized against one of their owners, former Senator Kelly Loeffler, and urged the Georgians to exercise their right to vote.
By January, control of the US Senate passed to the Democrats after Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won runoff elections and defeated Warnock Loeffler.
On March 26, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill that was passed by both state houses. A Republican-led state election overhaul resulted in the reversal of postal voting and other postal voting efforts, and even banning the distribution of food and water to those standing in line to vote.
President Joe Biden called the bill “sick” and “un-American” and told ESPN on March 31 that he was would help MLB move its Midsummer Classic from Atlanta.
Just over three months before the stars gathered for the 91st All-Star Game on July 13, Manfred did just that.
“Over the past week we have had thoughtful discussions with clubs, past and current players, the Players Association and the Players Alliance, among others, to hear their views,” Manfred said in a statement.
“I’ve decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is to get this year’s All-Star Game and this year’s MLB draft. Major League Baseball fundamentally supports the voting rights of all Americans and opposes ballot box restrictions. “
“We will continue our plans to celebrate the memory of Hank Aaron during this season’s All-Star Celebrations. Additionally, MLB’s planned investments to support local communities in Atlanta will continue as part of our All-Star Legacy Projects. We are completing a new host city and details of these events will be announced shortly. “
To speak out against discrimination, MLB joins the NBA, which moved their 2017 All-Star game from Charlotte due to state legislation discriminating against the transgender community, and the NFL, which moved the 1993 Super Bowl from Arizona, after the state refused to recognize Martin Luther King Day as a holiday, in organizations meeting congregations in their paperback.
MLB did not specify which city to move the All-Star game to, which is the biggest corporate event of the year due to its fixed date and only place on the sports calendar. Atlanta was awarded this game on May 30, 2019, a standard league reward to celebrate the opening of a new stadium.
Similarly, after extensive renovations at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles was awarded the 2020 All-Star Game. This game has been canceled due to the pandemic and the Dodgers will host the 2022 game instead.
It’s a three-day baseball festival that includes the July 11th Futures game, July 12th Home Run Derby, and dozen of fan-focused events and significant corporate goodies. This year’s game was in honor of Braves legend Hank Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth’s record on the home run in 1974 and is still an American icon. Aaron died on January 22nd at the age of 86.
In this case, MLB opted for immediate action and later logistics and choosing the new location based on a combination of fan convenience and a state that is not actively trying to pass voting restriction laws similar to Georgia.
This seems to rule out Texas, which has opened its doors for the National League Championship Series and 2020 World Series, as Arlington’s Globe Life Field has hosted the first ever MLB fan games since the pandemic began. Texas Senate Thursday Bill 7 passed in a party line voteThis was approved by Governor Greg Abbott, and the bill has since been criticized by companies like Dallas-based American Airlines.