The MLB has officially decided to pull the 2021 All Star game and amateur draft away from Atlanta. The decision comes as a result of the new voting legislation passed by Georgia Republicans last week.
The 98-page voting law was passed in response to the first Georgia Democratic victories in presidential and Senate elections in decades. Under this new legislation, the voting rights of people living in densely-packed urban areas will be severely restricted.
In addition to the reduced access to urban polling centers, the legislation makes it illegal to pass out water to voters waiting in lines — specifically targeting constituents in densely-populated areas.
In an official statement by Commissioner of Baseball Robert Manfred Jr., the league condemned the suppression of voting rights and announced its decision to pull the All Star festivities.
“Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and the Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views,” Manfred wrote. “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… . Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.”
Whoa. MLB announces it is pulling this year's All-Star game and the amateur draft from Georgia. pic.twitter.com/QqJzR3lAcy
— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) April 2, 2021
This groundbreaking decision calls back to a similar move made by the NBA in 2017 — moving the All Star game away from Charlotte after North Carolina passed the anti-transgender House Bill 2.
While no replacement city has been named yet, Manfred says the league is finalizing details with a new host city and will announce the move soon.