MLB moving 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta in response to voting laws

MLB

FILE – Cardboard cutouts of fans in the otherwise empty seats face the field during the sixth inning of a baseball game between the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Bay Rays in Atlanta, in this Thursday, July 30, 2020, file photo. Georgia’s new voting law _ which critics claim severely limits access to the ballot box, especially for people of color _ has prompted calls from as high as the White House to consider moving the midsummer classic out of Atlanta. The game is set for July 13 at Truist Park, the Braves’ 41,000-seat stadium in suburban Cobb County.(AP Photo/John Amis, File)

NEW YORK — Major League Baseball is taking its All-Star Game from Atlanta’s Truist Park in response to recently passed laws on voting in the state of Georgia, the league announced Friday.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement that the decision was made after discussions with the players, including a group called The Players Alliance, which consists of over 100 current and former Black players and was formed in response to the protest movement for racial justice in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

“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.  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 league is directly making the decision in response to recent laws signed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp that critics say is restricting of voting rights.

“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” added Manfred. “In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process.”

No announcement was made on where the All-Star Game, scheduled for July 13, will be held instead, though Manfred said MLB is finalizing the decision and will make an announcement soon.

The league is also moving the 2021 Draft from Atlanta. Traditionally, the draft had been held at MLB Network’s studios in Secaucus, New Jersey.

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