Anthony Castrovince, reporting for MLB.com:
Major League Baseball announced on Friday that it will relocate
the 2021 All-Star Game and MLB Draft, originally scheduled to
take place in Atlanta, to a to-be-determined location. The
decision comes a little more than a week after the passage of
S.B. 202, a Georgia law that President Joe Biden criticized
earlier this week, saying that it will restrict voting access for
residents of the state.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement that the decision to
move the All-Star Game was “the best way to demonstrate our values
as a sport” and was made after consultation with teams, former and
current players, the MLB Players Association and The Players
Alliance, among others.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for
all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” Manfred
said. “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.”
No fucking around on MLB’s part. Good for them. Here’s the deal: enact shameful laws, and the rest of society is going to react accordingly. Shame is powerful, and MLB is shaming the state of Georgia appropriately.
The Republican line is that this law is entirely about election integrity, and not about restricting voting access in Democratic-leaning areas. Bullshit. Here’s a NYT analysis of exactly what’s in the new law. Among other things, it restricts access to mail-in ballots, reduces the number of drop boxes in urban areas (the Atlanta metro area would go from 94 drop boxes in the last election to, at most, 23 in the next election). Most odious of all are restrictions on providing food and water to those waiting in line to vote. The fact that voters in some predominantly black precincts still have to wait upwards of two hours to cast their ballots is itself indefensible, but disallowing volunteers from offering them food and water while waiting in lines that should not exist in the first place is shameful.
★ Friday, 2 April 2021