ATLANTA (WSAV) – Gov. Brian Kemp took aim at Democrats, “Cancel Culture” and the MLB for its decision to move the 2021 All-Star game from Atlanta.
The MLB said it’s decision was made in response to the new voting restrictions in Georgia.
“In the middle of a pandemic, major league baseball put the wishes of Stacey Abrams and Joe Biden ahead of the economic well-being of hard-working Georgians who were counting on the All-Star game for a paycheck,” Kemp said.
Opposers of bill SB 202 have criticized measures such as the banning of mobile voting centers, banning the automatic mailing of absentee ballots, reducing the window of time for voters to request absentee ballots and reducing the number of drop boxes compared to what was used in the general election in November 2020.
Kemp said the MLB didn’t reach out to him to discuss its decision to move the All-Star game or any specific problems it had with the bill.
“SB 202 expands access to voting, secures ballot drop boxes around the clock in every county, expands weekends voting, protects no-excuse absentee voting, it levels the playing field on voter ID requirements as well as streamlining election procedures,” Kemp said.
Kemp claimed the moving of the 2021 All-Star game was not about voting rights, but about raising money and gaining more power. He repeatedly claimed that opposers of the bill had not read the bill and were creating their own narratives and facts.
“They’re coming to cancel everything from sports to how you make a living,” Kemp said, in front of a gathering of mostly unmasked General Assembly members.
Kemp called on the MLB to move their headquarters out of New York state over its voting laws as well.
“It’s easier to vote in Georgia than it is in New York,” Kemp said.
He said he’s not worried about a snowball effect of companies and events being pulled from Georgia as he said he’ll continue to fight for the bill.
The MLB said it is finalizing a new host city and will make an announcement “shortly.”
Commissioner Rob Manfred said the MLB supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes any restrictions to the ballot box.
The league engaged in conversations with clubs, former and current players, the Players Association and The Players Alliance over the last week to listen to their views, Manfred said.
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.
Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box. 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.
We will continue with our plans to celebrate the memory of Hank Aaron during this season’s All-Star festivities. In addition, MLB’s planned investments to support local communities in Atlanta as part of our All-Star Legacy Projects will move forward. We are finalizing a new host city and details about these events will be announced shortly.