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MLB: Biden says he would 'strongly support' moving All-Star Game out of Georgia over voting law

CNN logo CNN 4/1/2021 By Jessica Campisi, CNN
© MLB

President Joe Biden said he would "strongly support" moving this year's Major League Baseball All-Star Game out of Georgia following the passage of a sweeping elections bill that brings a wave of new voting restrictions to the state.

"I think today's professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly. I would strongly support them doing that," Biden told ESPN in an interview on Wednesday. "People look to them. They're leaders."

The legislation, which was signed last week by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, imposes voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, empowers state officials to take over local elections boards, limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it a crime to approach voters to give them food and water as they wait in line.

"Look at what's happened across the board. The very people who are victimized the most are the people who are the leaders in these various sports, and it's just not right," Biden said in the interview. "This is Jim Crow on steroids, what they're doing in Georgia and 40 other states."

Kemp responded to Biden's comments in an interview with Fox News on Thursday, calling the move "ridiculous."

"When the President of the United States says something, you know a lot of people pay attention. But what Joe Biden needs to do is look at the side-by-side of Georgia and Delaware," Kemp said. "He's focused on trying to get Major League Baseball to pull the game out of Georgia, which is ridiculous."

Biden swiftly condemned the Georgia measure after its passage last week, calling it "Jim Crow in the 21st Century" and "an atrocity," adding that the Justice Department is "taking a look" at the measure.

His latest comments, however, come as opponents of the law call for the boycotts of high-profile Georgia-based companies such as Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola and Home Depot, with critics saying they say didn't do enough to defeat the measure. The CEOs of Coca-Cola and Delta have since issued public statements criticizing the legislation.

Georgia is one of several states where Republicans have moved swiftly to either roll back access to voting or put new obstacles in the way of voters following losses in the 2020 presidential and US Senate elections. More than 360 bills with restrictive provisions have been introduced in 47 states as of March 24, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which is tracking the measures.

The All-Star Game is currently scheduled to take place at the Atlanta Braves' Truist Park on July 13.

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