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The controversial reason why MLB decided to move the All-Star Game out of Georgia

Deseret News logo Deseret News 4/2/2021 Herb Scribner
a group of people standing in front of a building: The Atlanta Braves during team practice at Truist Park on Friday, July 3, 2020, in Atlanta. © Associated Press The Atlanta Braves during team practice at Truist Park on Friday, July 3, 2020, in Atlanta.

Major League Baseball said Friday it would move the 2021 All-Star Game and 2021 draft out of Atlanta due to Georgia’s new voting law, ESPN reports.

  • “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,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “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.”

The announcement came after President Joe Biden said he would “strongly support” moving MLB All-Star Game out of Georgia because of the state’s controversial voting law, The Washington Post reports.

What is Georgia’s new voting law?

Gov. Brian Kemp, R-Georgia, recently signed in a new law that would add voting changes that could, experts say, restricting voting access, The Washington Post reports.

  • The new law includes “new identification requirements for mail-in ballots and makes it a crime for third-party groups to hand out food and water to voters standing in line, among other measures,” per The Washington Post.

Why would MLB’s All-Star Game move?

Big names within MLB have called for the game — which is set to be played at Atlanta’s Truist Park in July — to be moved because of the voting law.

  • Tony Clark, the executive director of the MLB Players Association, told The Boston Globe: “We have not had a conversation with the league on that issue. If there is an opportunity to, we would look forward to having that conversation.”

What President Biden said about the All-Star Game

President Biden weighed in on the idea, saying he would strongly support it.

  • “I think today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly. I would strongly support them doing that,” Biden told ESPN. “People look to them. They’re leaders.”
  • “Look at what’s happened across the board,” said Biden. “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.”

Delta, Coca-Cola call out voting law

Delta and Coca-Cola both issued statements about the Georgia voting law, according to The New York Times.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said: “I need to make it crystal clear that the final bill is unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values.”

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey said: “I want to be crystal clear. The Coca-Cola Company does not support this legislation, as it makes it harder for people to vote, not easier.”

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