Major League Baseball (MLB) is reportedly planning to relocate the All-Star Game from Atlanta, Georgia to Denver, Colorado in response to voting legislation recently passed in Georgia, sources told the Associated Press.
The MLB Commissioner’s office is expected to declare Tuesday that the Colorado Rockies will host the game.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in a statement. He added, “Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.”
Company executives from MLB and other corporations claim the new legislation suppresses voting rights and President Joe Biden told ESPN it’s “Jim Crow in the 21st Century” and that he would “strongly support” moving the game out of Atlanta.
However, the MLB has chosen to relocate the All-Star Game to a state where there are more voter restrictions.
The state of Colorado require proof of identification when casting a ballot to vote and it also has fewer early voting days than Georgia.
Glenn Kessler, a reporter for The Washington Post, analyzed the new Georgia legislation and came to the conclusion that many provisions of the Georgia law make voting more accessible, not less.
Many are now questioning if Commissioner Manfred had read Georgia’s voting laws before deciding to pull the All-Star Game from Atlanta.
The All-Star Game has also been pulled from a city with mostly black citizens and has been relocated to a city with mostly white citizens.
According to U.S. Census data from 2019, Atlanta, Georgia, is 51% black and Denver, Colorado is 9.8% black.
Moreover, The Daily Caller reported that the relocation of the All-Star Game will significantly impact black-owned businesses in Atlanta. Nearly 30% of businesses in Atlanta are black-owned and Georgia will face an estimated lost economic impact of more than $100 million due to the MLB’s boycott of Atlanta, according to the outlet.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declined to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opening game will boycott any other Major League Baseball events after the MLB “adopted what has turned out to be a false narrative about the election law reforms in Georgia,” Abbott wrote in a letter to a top Texas Rangers executive on Monday.
“It is shameful that America’s pastime is not only being influenced by partisan political politics, but also perpetuating false political narratives,” Abbott said, adding that he “will not participate in an event held by MLB, and the state will not seek to host the All-Star Game or any other MLB special events.”
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy