On Friday, at the urging of Black players Dee Strange Gordon, Edwin Jackson and Cameron Maybin, all influential members of The Players Alliance, MLB made the decision to move its All-Star Game and Draft out of Atlanta after lawmakers adopted a series of voting restrictions designed to suppress the voter turnout among people of color.
Commissioner Rob Manfred stated the following:
Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.” “Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.
The law signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp last week, imposes new ID requirements for absentee ballots, criminalizes giving voters food and water while they stand in long lines waiting to cast their vote. The law also turns over the control of county election boards to the state’s Republican-led legislature, while also limiting the use of ballot drop boxes.
It basically pissed a ton of Black folks off, because the laws are specifically crafted to inhibit their voting freedoms.
I want to applaud and extend a thank you to @MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred for moving the All Star Game out of Georgia following the Governor’s signing of the new restrictive voting law. Way to be a leader and take a strong stance!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 2, 2021
Republicans have said the new law will restore confidence in the state’s election after former President Donald Trump made bogus claim after bogus claim that there was voter fraud in Georgia when he lost to Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
Democrats and many voting advocates have decried the bill as “Jim Crow 2.0,” Their argument stems from the bill’s obvious intention to suppress voter turnout, in response to the Black and brown people who showed up in record numbers to lead Democrats to victory in the Presidential and Senatorial elections.
This kind of open and unwavering camaraderie, social responsibility among races, has never occurred in MLB history.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) April 2, 2021
Following today’s decision, Kemp criticized MLB, calling the league’s decision a knee-jerk reaction and he even called it an attack on the state of Georgia. He goes on to reiterate that he will not back down and neither will the state of Georgia.
He finishes by stating that the “Peach State” will continue to stand-up for secure, accessible, and fair elections.
This is what narcissist(s) do when they begin to lose control of the situation, they throw tantrums and play victim and that’s exactly what the Governor is doing in his quotes.
Stacey Abrams: The Other End Of The Spectrum
On the other end of the spectrum is the great Stacey Abrams, a voting rights activist and former gubernatorial nominee, who states she was disappointed in MLBs decision but is also proud of them for standing together and speaking out.
Abrams also stated she respects boycotts but doesn’t wanna see families in Georgia hurt by the loss of jobs and events. She finished by saying Georgia Republicans must remit the terrible damage they have caused to our voting system, as well as the harm they’ve caused to our economy.
Newly elected Senator Raphael Warnock was also in agreeance and respected the decision, although he did call it “an unfortunate consequence” of state lawmaker’s actions.
This move by MLB comes after Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines, two of the state’s largest companies, spoke out against the bill following criticism for not taking a sound and sturdy position on the legislation earlier.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian was adamant that the bill is unacceptable and does not support or match Delta’s core values.
Commissioner Manfred said the league will continue to celebrate the late Hank Aaron who played more than 20 seasons with the Braves in Atlanta and Milwaukee, at the All-Star game this summer.
MLB will also move forward with plans to support local communities in Atlanta as part of the event. The Atlanta Braves franchise who were the host voiced their disappointment of the game being moved but say they’ll use this situation as a time to stress the importance of legal voting rights.
The Braves statement regarding the moving of the MLB All-Star Game: pic.twitter.com/0Iapm3eIre
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 2, 2021
Manfred mentioned the league was finalizing a new host city and those details would be released as soon as they become available.