Major League Baseball is moving its flagship mid-summer event from Atlanta in opposition to Georgia’s newly signed law that makes voting more difficult.
Critics of the law say the law, signed by Republican Governor Brian Kemp last week, targets Black voters.
"Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” wrote MLB commissioner Rob Manfred in a statement.
“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,” wrote Manfred. “Fair access to voting continues to have our game's unwavering support."
Major League Baseball has not determined where it will hold the game.
In a series of tweets, Kemp responded: "Today, @MLB caved to fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies. I will not back down. Georgians will not be bullied. We will continue to stand up for secure, accessible, fair elections."
There has been no evidence of significant voter fraud in the 2020 elections.
Georgia’s new law adds stricter voter-identification requirements, expands GOP legislative power over local election boards, limits ballot drop boxes, reduces early voting days and eliminates weekend voting during runoffs. It gained particular attention for criminalizing giving food and water to voters waiting in lines.
Civil rights groups including the Georgia NAACP, Black Voters Matter, Georgia STAND-UP and the New Georgia Project urged corporations to denounce S.B. 202. Activists and religious leaders called for a boycott of companies that backed the law. Coca-Cola and Delta eventually denounced the legislation.
President Joe Biden also opposed S.B. 202, calling it “Jim Crow 2.0” and supported moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta.