Major League Baseball will move the 2021 All-Star Game to Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, after the league announced on Friday that it was pulling the event from the Atlanta area in response to Georgia’s passage of new restrictive voting laws. The league is expected to make a formal announcement Tuesday on the new home for the July 13 game, as well as the MLB amateur draft, which was also scheduled to be hosted at the Atlanta Braves’ stadium, Truist Park.
The league was remarkably decisive in its move to relocate the high-profile event out of Georgia, after a number of companies joined the chorus against the new voting law. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement that relocating the game “was the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport,” and that the decision was made after consulting with a host of people involved in the league, from team owners and executives to current and former players. Last week, on April 1, President Joe Biden said he would “strongly support” moving the All-Star Game in response to the new Georgia law.
Georgia’s new voter law enacts a host of new restrictions making it harder to vote while shifting administrative powers from localities to the state, all of which are expected to have a disproportionate effect on minority voters in the state. The move comes shortly after Democrats notched consecutive historic victories, first in the presidential election in November and then capturing two Senate races in January. Flooded with wild claims of voter fraud of all sorts, much of it coming straight from Donald Trump’s mouth, the overwhelmingly Republican state legislature crafted a plan to make sure the losses stopped there. Using Republican disbelief, GOP legislators rammed home a new bill in the name of “voter integrity,” even though repeated recounts and audits found no credible evidence of substantive fraud in Georgia’s count.
For more on how activists are fighting the Georgia law, listen to the April 2 episode of A Word With Jason Johnson.