- The Washington Times - Friday, April 2, 2021

MLB is moving the 2021 All-Star Game and draft out of Atlanta in response to a new Georgia voting law, following the advice of President Biden and MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark.

Biden and Clark had both expressed their support for the league to consider relocating the Midsummer Classic out of Georgia after Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law new election measures that increased voter restrictions.

The Republican-backed bill adds more strict ID requirements for absentee ballots, reduces the number of drop boxes for ballots and prohibits political activists and candidates from trying to influence in-line electors by plying them with “food and drink” as happened in November.

“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “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.”



Manfred’s statement said his decision comes after “thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views.”

The league is finalizing a new host city and will announce those details shortly.

Biden appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter on Wednesday night, and he was asked by co-host Sage Steele for his thoughts on Clark saying he “would look forward” to moving the July 13 All-Star Game away from Truist Park in Atlanta. Biden said he would “strongly support” such a move.

“I think today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly. I would strongly support them doing that,” Biden said on SportsCenter. “People look to them. They’re leaders.

“Look what’s happened with the NBA, as well,” Biden added. “Look 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, and it’s just not right.”

 

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