MLB relocating 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta, cites voting rights

MLB relocating 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta, cites voting rights
FILE - Cardboard cutouts of fans in the otherwise empty seats face the field during the sixth inning of a baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays in Atlanta, in this Thursday, July 30, 2020, file photo. Georgia’s new voting law _ which critics claim severely limits access to the ballot box, especially for people of color _ has prompted calls from as high as the White House to consider moving the midsummer classic out of Atlanta. The game is set for July 13 at Truist Park, the Braves’ 41,000-seat stadium in suburban Cobb County.(AP Photo/John Amis, File) (Source: John Amis)

ATLANTA, Ga. (WTOC) - Major League Baseball announced it is relocating the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta.

Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. issued the following statement Friday regarding the 2021 All-Star Game:

“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.”

The Atlanta Braves released a statement after MLB’s decision was announced.

Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp and House Speaker David Ralston issued the following statements on Friday:

“Today, Major League Baseball caved to fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies,” said Governor Kemp. “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. I will not back down. Georgians will not be bullied. 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.”

“Stacey Abrams’ leftist lies have stolen the All-Star Game from Georgia,” said Speaker David Ralston. “This decision is not only economically harmful, it also robs Georgians of a special celebration of our national pastime free of politics. But Georgia will not be bullied by socialists and their sympathizers. We will continue to stand for accessible, secure elections that are free and fair. And we will continue to speak truth despite extortion and intimidation.”

U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) issued the following statement about MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game:

“Businesses and organizations have great power in their voices and ability to push for change, and I respect the decision of the players to speak out against this unjust law. It is not the people of Georgia or the workers of Georgia who crafted this law, it is politicians seeking to retain power at the expense of Georgians’ voices. And today’s decision by MLB is the unfortunate consequence of these politicians’ actions.

“It is my hope that businesses, athletes, and entertainers can protest this law not by leaving Georgia but by coming here and fighting voter suppression head on, and hand-in-hand with the community. Additionally, the urgency to pass federal voter protection laws grows every day, and I will continue to be a leader in that fight.”

U.S. Rep Buddy Carter released the following statement:

“The MLB is absolutely pathetic. The organization has completely caved to the lies of the Left and America’s pastime has now become a political tool for the liberal mob. Let’s be clear - Georgia will be losing potentially hundreds of millions of dollars because Democrats, including the President of the United States, have been spreading lies about Georgia’s Election Integrity Act. Georgians have a deep love for the sport, but this move from the MLB is an attack on both our state and on free and fair elections. Georgians can fight back with their pocketbooks just as I’ll be fighting back in Congress.”

Copyright 2021 WTOC. All rights reserved.