‘Woke up’ MLB by moving All-Star Game from 51% Black Atlanta to 76% White Denver, critics say


Opponents of MLB’s decision to move the 2021 All-Star Game to Denver due to Georgia’s new voting law suggest the measure could end up hurting Atlanta’s black residents rather than helping them.

They point out that the measure will give an economic hit to Atlanta, which is 51% black, and will provide a boost to the Colorado capital, which is only 9% black, according to US Census figures.

The “Summer Classic” was scheduled for July 13 at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, until Major League Baseball decided on Friday to change its location, a decision that was hailed by several major corporations. On Monday, MLB announced that the game will now be played at Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies.

According to 2019 US Census data, Atlanta is 51% black and 40.9% white, while Denver is 9.2% black and 76% white.

Democrats and advocates of the right to vote argue that Georgia’s new voting law, signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp on March 25, would make it difficult for people, especially those of color, to vote.

Republican supporters say the law is necessary to restore confidence in Georgia’s elections following the controversial 2020 presidential elections and two US Senate runoff elections in January.

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Ground teams prepare the field at Sun Trust Park, now known as Truist Park, prior to Game 3 of the MLB National League Baseball Division Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers in Atlanta on 7 October 2018 (Associated Press).

Historically, the All-Star Game has had a notable and positive economic impact on host cities, according to data from the Baseball Almanac, as fans, players, sponsors and others flock to the event. That generally provides business for restaurants, hotels, and other local establishments.

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Nearly 30% of businesses in Atlanta are owned by blacks, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The 2020 All-Star Game, to be held in Los Angeles, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, which also shortened last year’s MLB regular season by more than half its normal length of 162 games. But the 2019 All-Star Game in Cleveland generated an estimated $ 65 million in regional economic activity.

Workers prepare Coors Field on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in Denver, the day before the Colorado Rockies' season opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.  (Associated Press)

Workers prepare Coors Field on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in Denver, the day before the Colorado Rockies’ season opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers. (Associated Press)

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement to strip the Braves of the event on Friday in response to mounting pressure to change the location of the July game following Georgia’s passage of its Republican-backed election reform legislation. .

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“Over the past week, we have had thoughtful conversations with clubs, former and current players, the Players Association and the Players Alliance, among others, to hear their views,” Manfred said in a statement last week. “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports the voting rights of all Americans and opposes restrictions on the polls.”

The legislation imposes new restrictions on voting by mail, adds voter identification requirements, and limits voting booths. It also requires two early voting Saturdays before the general election, an increase of just one, and leaves two Sundays as optional. Additionally, the legislation prohibits outside groups from handing out food or water to those waiting in line to vote.

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Opponents of MLB’s decision to move the game reacted on social media.

“Moving the game from various areas … it doesn’t seem like the league is trying to expand its audience,” wrote one Twitter user.

“Why did MLB just move the All-Star Game from Atlanta which is 51% black – to Denver which is 9% black?” asked Paul Szypula from New York.

“At least they are moving from a 51% black city to a 10% black city in the name of justice,” wrote Nathan Wurtzel.

“The Democrats are really good about their whole ‘racial justice’ thing,” wrote The Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra.

Ryan Gaydos and Brittany De Lea of ​​Fox News contributed to this report.

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