Major League Baseball will move the 2021 All Star Game out of Atlanta in response to Georgia’s voter integrity law, the league announced Friday.
MLB intended to play the exhibition game at the Atlanta Braves’ Truist Park, which opened in 2017. However, President Joe Biden called on the league to move the All Star Game over Georgia’s new elections law while relying on misleading arguments about its effects.
“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,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.
— Ed O’Keefe (@edokeefe) April 2, 2021
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” he continued.
Biden first called for MLB to move the All Star Game during a March 31 appearance on ESPN. “Look at what’s happened across the board. The very people who are victimized the most are the people who are the leaders in these various sports,” Biden told SportsCenter host Sage Steele. “I would strongly support them doing that [moving the game]. People look to them. They’re leaders.”
Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer for Georgia’s Secretary of State, who helps administer elections, slammed Biden’s boycott call on Friday. “I think it’s morally reprehensible and disgusting that he’s perpetuating economic blackmail over a lie,” he told The Dispatch. (RELATED: Stacey Abrams: ‘Please Do Not Boycott Us’ Over Election Law)
The Biden administration has repeatedly claimed that Georgia’s law, which expands early voting and requires voter ID for absentee ballots, will limit the ability of lower-income and non-white voters to cast their ballots.
The Washington Post gave Biden four “pinocchios” for his comments, meaning that its fact-checker deemed them a complete lie.