MLB calls All-Star Game lawsuit from right-wing group 'political theatrics'

·2 min read

A lawsuit filed against MLB over the decision to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta is just “political theatrics,” the league officially responded in a court filing on Monday.

The Job Creators Network, a right-wing advocacy group, filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York last week against MLB, commissioner Rob Manfred and the MLBPA in an effort to get the game back in Atlanta and $100 million in damages for local businesses.

“JCN has been vocal in opposing MLB’s decision, but that does not give it a basis for federal civil rights claims,” lawyers for MLB wrote in the court filing, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Moreover, despite its claims of exigency, JCN spent the last two months putting up billboards in Times Square and running inflammatory advertisements in The New York Times. When its publicity campaign had no effect, JCN decided to sue, but this Court’s time should not be wasted on political theatrics.”

MLB moved All-Star Game to Denver

MLB opted to move the All-Star Game to Denver after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a controversial new law that severely restricts voting access across the state.

That bill — which limits the number of drop boxes across the state, increases voter ID requirements and gives state-level officials power over county election boards that oversee ballot counts — drew heavy criticism from across the country and from multiple major corporations. Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines slammed the bill, and Delta CEO Ed Bastain said it was “based on a lie” that there was widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election — something former President Donald Trump and other Republicans falsely claimed.

“I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game,” Manfred said in April. “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”

JCN was established by Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, who is a prominent Trump supporter. MLB argued in its court filing that the “all of [JCN’s] claims are legally defective.”

“It is in the public interest for Defendants’ decision to move the All-Star Game to Denver to be upheld, thereby protecting Defendants’ right to demonstrate their values and preserving their freedom as private entities to determine where to hold their events,” MLB’s legal brief stated, via the Journal-Constitution.

MLBPA opposed the lawsuit in its own filing. The union called the lawsuit “frivolous” while saying that it doesn’t get to choose where the All-Star Game is held.

“The Founding Fathers did not bestow upon American cities the right to an MLB All-Star Game,” Players Association lawyers wrote, via the Journal-Constitution.

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