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Major League Baseball All-Star Game withdrew from Georgia due to voting law

Major League Baseball moved the All-Star Game from Atlanta’s Truist Park in response to a new law that restricts voting rights enacted by the state of Georgia on Friday.

New York (Associated Press)-Atlanta lost the Major League Baseball Summer Summer All-Star Game because the league opposed a radical change to Georgia’s voting laws, and the opposition was met by critics (including the Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola’s CEO) condemned. Too strict.

Republican Governor Brian Kemp quickly signed the bill on March 25, deciding to withdraw the July 13 game from Atlanta’s Truist Park, which was the first economic opposition to Georgia.

Camp insisted that critics of the law mischaracterized its actions, but Republican lawmakers adopted these changes, mainly in response to false fraud allegations made by former President Donald Trump and his supporters in the 2020 election. . The law includes new restrictions on mail-in voting and greater legislative control over how elections are conducted.

Major League Baseball (MLB) commissioner Rob Manfred (Rob Manfred) decided to move the All-Star Game and amateur picks out of Atlanta after discussing with the individual players and the league of players (players league). statement. The new stadium for the event was not immediately announced.

Manfred said he also had a conversation with the Major League Baseball Players Association. When the commissioner made the decision, the Major League Baseball Players Association stated that it had not yet taken any position.

Manfred said: “I think the best way to show our values ​​as a sport is to relocate this year̵

7;s All-Star Game and Major League Baseball Draft.” “The Major League Baseball fundamentally supports all of the United States. People’s right to vote is opposed to restricting ballot boxes.”

The White House stated that President Joe Biden supports this decision.

The White House said: “Given that its extreme terms affect the voting power of so many citizens, the president has clearly expressed concerns about the bill passed by Georgia.” “He said earlier this week that if Major League Baseball makes a decision to transfer He will definitely support the decision of the All-Star Game-now that the Major League Baseball has made a choice, he will definitely do it.”

Trump criticized the move in a statement and urged his supporters to “boycott baseball and all wake-up companies that interfere with free and fair elections.”

Kemp calls Major League Baseball’s actions a “subconscious decision”, which means “abolish culture and awaken political activists in all aspects of your life, including sports. If the left disagrees with you, then the facts and truths It doesn’t matter.”

Kemp said in a statement: “The attack on our country is the direct result of (President) Joe Biden and Stacy Abrams’ repeated lies. The bill expands access to the ballot box, and It ensures the integrity of our election.” He was the Democratic candidate who narrowly won the 2018 general election. “I will not back down. Georgians will not be bullied.”

The Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, David Ralston, is a powerful Republican who has vowed to support the new law, which adds strict identification requirements for absent voters, restricts the use of ballot boxes, and gives voters It is a crime to distribute food or water. Waiting in line, there are many other regulations.

Republicans in Georgia say that changes need to be made to maintain voters’ confidence in the electoral system. Democrats and voting rights groups say the law will disproportionately affect communities of color. On Wednesday, Georgia’s two most prominent business leaders and opponents of the law stood aside.

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian marked the law as “unacceptable,” while Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey called the legislation “regressive.”

The Atlanta Warriors issued a statement on Friday saying that Manfred’s decision disappointed the team.

The team said: “We feel sorry for the fans not being able to see this game in our city.” “The Brave will continue to emphasize the importance of equal voting opportunities. We hope that our city can use this event as a way to strengthen discussions. platform.”

Los Angeles Dodgers head coach Dave Roberts (Dave Roberts) will direct the National League All-Star team, and he praised MLB for moving the game out of Georgia.

Roberts said: “I think that in today’s world, people want and need to hear their voices. In this case, they are people of color. Major League Baseball can listen and do something about it. Be proactive. Set the tone.” The son of a black father and a Japanese mother.

Abrams, who has championed voting rights since she lost to Camp, criticized the new voting law. The Democrats are watching closely whether she seeks a rematch with Kemp in 2022.

Abrams said: “The Georgia Republicans must give up the terrible damage they caused to our voting system and the damage to our economy.”

Democratic Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she supports the decision of Major League Baseball. Although the home stadium of the Braves is now located in the suburbs of Cobb County, Atlanta will undoubtedly share the economic losses.

Detus said in a statement: “Unfortunately, the cancellation of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game from Georgia is likely to be the first of many dominoes to collapse unless the unnecessary restriction of access to the ballot box is eliminated. Obstacles.”

Some Democrats from the state of Georgia who held the game said they opposed the moves of Major League Baseball. Lisa Cupid, the black chairwoman of the Cobb County Council, said she urged the league to stay and not harm hotels and other businesses that are still hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

State Representative Teri Anulewicz (Teri Anulewicz) is a Democrat whose area includes stadiums. The governor has made it clear from his statement that he does not feel that he has been punished. “

In the United States, in response to social issues, high-profile sports events that have moved from cities have a long history in the United States.

The NFL originally awarded the 1993 Super Bowl to the Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, but after the state failed to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a legal holiday, it was decided in March 1991 to move it to Pasadena, California. When Arizona became the first to take a MLK vacation, voters approved its final state in November 1992.

The NBA first held the 2017 All-Star Game at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, and then transferred it in July 2016 due to opposition to North Carolina law, which restricts anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. The law was partially repealed in 2017, and the 2019 All-Star Game will be held in Charlotte.

Manfred said that despite the change of venue, Major League Baseball still plans to use the All-Star Game this year to honor Hank Aaron, the brave Hall of Fame member and former professional home run champion, the latter in January. Passed away on the 22nd at the age of 86.

The manager of the Houston Astros, Dusty Baker, a former teammate of the Aaron team, praised the move and said that the late outfielder “always had the rights of the people in his mind and heart. .”

Baker told reporters: “Even Hank, this is what Hank wants.”


Associated Press writers Jeff Amy, Ben Nadler and Paul Newberry in Atlanta; Pat Graham in Denver; Jeanne McCauley in Houston ( Janie McCauley; Darlene Superville in Washington; Russ Bynum in Savannah, Georgia, contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 Associated Press. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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