Major League Baseball announced Friday that it has yanked the 2021 All-Star Game and amateur draft from Georgia in protest of the state’s restrictive new voting law. The league will relocate the events to another state to be announced in the near future.
“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 wrote in a statement on Friday. “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 midseason game was set to take place July 13 at Truist Park in Atlanta.
“Major League Baseball,” Manfred added, “fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box... Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.”
The league’s decision came as the CEOs of Delta and Coca-Cola—both headquartered in Atlanta—and President Joe Biden have all slammed the new legislation, which, among other measures, places restrictive ID requirements on voting and limits the use of ballot drop boxes. In an interview with ESPN on Wednesday, Biden specifically called the law “Jim Crow on steroids.”