Major League Baseball is moving the 2021 All-Star Game and the 2021 draft out of Atlanta in response to the Georgia controversy. new voting law, the league announced on Friday.
“I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating the All-Star Game and this year’s MLB Draft,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports the voting rights of all Americans and opposes restrictions on the polls.”
The All-Star Game is one of the league’s major events and the city of Atlanta will lose considerable financial gain. Cities past have seen as much as $ 60 million in economic increases, according to data from the Baseball Almanac.
Discussions about moving the game emerged after Georgia recently passed tough new voting laws, which critics say are designed to disenfranchise voters of color. The new law requires photo identification to vote via an absentee ballot, which more than 1.3 million Georgia voters used during the coronavirus pandemic. It also limited mailbox locations and limits the time voters have to request an absentee ballot.
The league has yet to announce a new host city, but said the decision is in the process of being finalized. The All-Star Game is scheduled for July 13 and will still pay tribute to baseball legend Hank Aaron.
Khristopher J. Brooks contributed reporting.