- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has urged people not to boycott Georgia, but Sen. Rand Paul says she and other Democrats are squarely to blame for Major League Baseball’s decision to pull the All-Star Game out of Atlanta.

The founder of Fair Fight, Ms. Abrams led the charge against Senate Bill 202, the Georgia election law that requires identification for absentee ballots, expands early voting and bans electioneering within 150 feet of polling entrances, calling it “Jim Crow 2.0.”

“There’s all these people who are woke, but now even the woke like Stacey Abrams, are starting to see, oh, no what have I unleashed? I just lost my state $100 million in revenue,” said Mr. Paul on Fox’s “The Story.” “Stacey Abrams and the Democrats cost Georgia $100 million in revenue because they complained about something they didn’t read and they said something about it that wasn’t true.”

The Kentucky Republican disputed the “Jim Crow” characterization, noting that Georgia’s law actually adds early voting days and hours.

In a statement last week, Ms. Abrams told supporters “please do not boycott us,” saying that minorities “are also the most likely to be hurt by potential boycotts of Georgia,” but Republicans say her incendiary statements about voter suppression and Jim Crow were responsible for the MLB exit.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, also appearing Monday on Fox’s “The Story” with Martha MacCallum, called it “the biggest flip-flop since John Kerry I have ever seen.”

“For someone that has been pressuring these corporations, pressuring Major League Baseball to now come out after the fact and say don’t boycott? People are getting screwed in this,” Mr. Kemp said.

Nearly 30% of Atlanta businesses are minority-owned, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Two days before MLB pulled the game, President Biden said in an interview with ESPN that he supported the idea of moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta.

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

He also called the election law “Jim Crow on steroids, what they’re doing in Georgia and 40 other states.”

The All-Star Game scheduled for July 13 will reportedly now be held in Denver, which is 76.1% White, according to U.S. Census data. Atlanta is 51% Black, according to the 2019 Census update.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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