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Major League Baseball is changing the location of the 2021 MLB All-Star Game from Atlanta in response to Georgia's new restrictive voting laws, the league announced on Friday.
"Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box," MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced in a statement released by the league. "In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support."
The state of Georgia recently passed a number of new laws which critics say make it more difficult for potential voters to cast their ballots. The Braves released a statement shortly after MLB's, announcing their disappointment with the decision.
The league has not yet announced which city would be hosting the 2021 MLB All-Star Game, though they did confirm that Los Angeles would still be the host city for 2022 and therefore not moving up a year.
“Today, Major League Baseball caved to fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies," said Georgia Governor Brian Kemp in a statement. "Georgians - and all Americans - should fully understand what the MLB's knee-jerk decision means: cancel culture and woke political activists are coming for every aspect of your life, sports included. If the left doesn’t agree with you, facts and the truth do not matter.
"This attack on our state is the direct result of repeated lies from Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams about a bill that expands access to the ballot box and ensures the integrity of our elections. I will not back down. Georgians will not be bullied. We will continue to stand up for secure, accessible, fair elections. Earlier today, I spoke with the leadership of the Atlanta Braves who informed me they do not support the MLB's decision.”Baltimore's mayor, Brandon Scott, tweeted along with many other Orioles fans his hope that Major League Baseball would consider Camden Yards for the game.
The Orioles have not hosted the Midsummer Classic since 1993, one of the longest droughts of any teams in baseball. MLB did not clarify when they would be deciding on the new venue, but it will have to be relatively quickly considering the even is three months away.