Since the state of Georgia passed new controversial voting laws last week, many have called on Major League Baseball to move this year’s All Star Game from Atlanta as to not let the state profit from the event. On Thursday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told reporters the league was discussing a move, which became official on Friday, per a press release from Manfred.
“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,” the statement reads.” I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game.” The 2021 MLB Amateur Draft, which was also set to be held in Atlanta, is being moved as well.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” the statement continues. “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.”
Many companies based in the state of Georgia have been put under the microscope since the laws were past. The new regulations are seen by many as discriminatory and would make it more difficult for minority communities to vote. Baseball is not the only sport involved in the conversation – there have been calls for the PGA to move next week’s Masters tournament, which is held annually in Augusta, Georgia.
The league had been planning this year’s All Star Game to be a celebration of Braves legend Hank Aaron, who held the all-time home run record from 1974-2007, after his passing earlier this year. The league says they “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.”