Major League Baseball announced Friday that this season’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft will not be held in Atlanta in response to Georgia’s recently passed laws that placed new restrictions on voting. The new host city for the July 13 game has yet to be announced, according to the league.
“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 published on the league’s website. “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.”
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” the statement added.
The new law in Georgia introduces new impediments to voting, reducing the number of drop boxes in heavily African American areas and allows the state to intervene to assert control over the conduct of elections in Democratic counties. It also shortens the time available for absentee votes and introduces new registration requirements that campaigners say are designed to target Black voters and makes it a crime to offer water or food to voters waiting in line.
The Atlanta Braves said the franchise is “deeply disappointed” by the decision to move the game.
“This was neither our decision, nor our recommendation and we are saddened that fans will be able to see this event in our city,” according to a statement from the team. “The Braves organization will continue to stress the importance of equal voting opportunities and we had hoped our city could use this event as a platform to enhance the discussion.”
The Braves statement regarding the moving of the MLB All-Star Game: pic.twitter.com/0Iapm3eIre
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 2, 2021