After announcing its decision to move this year’s All-Star game out of Atlanta, Major League Baseball had chosen Denver to be the new host of the 2021 Midsummer Classic. The decision to pull the All-Star game out of Atlanta came after Georgia lawmakers passed sweeping laws to restrict voting access, which is being called voter suppression by those who oppose the laws.
MLB’s decision to move its All-Star Game from Atlanta is not the first time a sports league has made such a decision. In 2016, the NBA moved its All-Star Game from Charlotte in objection to a bill an anti-LGBT enacted by North Carolina lawmakers. Most notably, the NFL moved the 1993 Super Bowl from Phoenix to Los Angeles after Arizona politicians voted against recognizing Martin Luther King Day.
While many will argue the laws passed by the states hosting events like the MLB’s All-Star Game do not affect the event itself, we need to look at the message it would send it organizations like the MLB were to overlook things like states stripping it citizens of voting rights and still choosing to host a monumental event like the All-Star Game in its state.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 13, 2021
Unlike voting rights, hosting the All-Star game is a gift and the MLB is well within its right to stand up for those whose right to vote is being infringed upon through Georgia’s new law. While naysayers like Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is claiming the MLB decision to move the All-Star Game is yet another example of cancel culture that simply is not the case.
The MLB is using its massive platform to raise awareness and fight for the rights of the disenfranchised. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is well within his right to move the game if the league sees fit.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” Manfred said in a statement announcing his decision.
In late March, after months of false cries of voting fraud, Georgia republicans passed a law that would not only make it harder for its residents to vote by absentee ballots but the law also expanded the Georgia legislature’s power over elections.
The results of last November’s presidential election have long since been confirmed. A new president was sworn in on January 20, 2021, and by all intents and purposes, the country has tried its best to heal and move on from the harmful events that happened under the previous administration.
Yet still, instead of accepting the overwhelming evidence proving there was little to no voter fraud committed during last year’s election, Georgia lawmakers have decided to disregard fact and pass laws that restrict many of its citizens from exercising their right to vote.
— LWV of the US (@LWV) December 6, 2019
Georgia’s role in helping President Joe Biden win the 2020 presidential election is well documented. It’s also well known Biden probably would not have won Georgia had it not been for black voters. The same can be said for the Senate race, which flipped two Republican seats to Democrat and gave the Democrats the majority in the Senate.
Now, it seems Black voters are being punished for exercising their right to vote and are being unfairly targeted in Georgia’s new law. Georgia lawmakers need to look at the message they are sending when the same year black voter turnout was at all-time high accusations of voter fraud were just as high.
To be honest, hosting this year’s All-Star Game should be the least of Georgia’s worries. For the past couple of weeks, Georgia lawmakers have complained to anyone who would listen that the MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game is punishment for the passing of the voter restriction laws, and you what, they’re right. No matter how it’s diced this is a form of punishment, but there are consequences for every action.
Why should the MLB host a game that would bring millions of dollars of revenue into a state that denies fundamental rights to its citizens?
Hosting this game is an honor and what Georgia is doing with this law is not honorable. Making it harder for members of predominantly black neighborhoods to vote is cruel and the MLB choosing to disregard that for the sake of the game would reflect badly upon them. The MLB made the right call for the right reasons.