- The Washington Times - Friday, April 9, 2021

The Republican National Committee launched Friday an ad campaign in Georgia excoriating Major League Baseball for pulling the All-Star Game out of Atlanta while taking a swing at President Biden for encouraging the move.

The RNC ran a full-page open letter to MLB in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution saying that the league “caved to Joe Biden and the woke mob” and announced plans to run a digital billboard ad in The Battery near Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves.

Joe Biden‘s lies have real consequences, and Georgia’s Black-owned small businesses are paying the price for his reckless misinformation campaign,” said RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. “The RNC is using every tool to counter Democrats’ woke mob mentality and debunk their false narrative around commonsense election integrity protections in Georgia and across the country.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has sought to walk back Mr. Biden‘s March 31 comment saying that he would “strongly support them doing that,” referring to relocating the All-Star Game, amid a backlash over MLB‘s move.

Atlanta, a city with a 51% Black majority, is expected to lose $100 million from the decision to move the game to Denver, which is 76% White and 9% Black. Nearly 30% of Atlanta small businesses are minority-owned.

MLB announced the move on April 2, citing the passage of Georgia’s omnibus elections bill, two days after Mr. Biden denounced the measure in an ESPN interview as “Jim Crow on steroids.”

“Senate Bill 202 is comprehensive and thoughtful legislation designed with nuance and a deep knowledge of the state’s electoral process,” said Ms. McDaniel in the open letter. “By contrast, your organization’s decision was impulsive, callous, and deeply cynical. You caved to Joe Biden and the woke mob.”

The law signed last month by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp requires voter identification for absentee ballots; scales back the number of drop boxes from pandemic levels; seeks to shorten long lines by requiring overset precincts to add machines or staff, and expands early voting.

“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in his April 2 statement.

Mr. Manfred has been criticized for pulling the Midsummer Classic even though he reportedly belongs to the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, which is currently holding the Masters Tournament despite calls to cancel or relocate the event.

The RNC also plans to redouble its media outreach “to counteract Democrats’ false narrative surrounding the Georgia law,” and run the digital billboard for a week on Cobb Parkway.

The billboard shows a photo of Mr. Biden with the message, “Joe Biden‘s lies cost Georgia $100 million/Georgians won’t forget.”

Ms. Psaki said Tuesday that the president was “simply conveying he would support that decision [to move the All-Star game] if that decision was made by MLB — just as he would support decisions made by private sector companies.”

The Colorado Rockies will now host All-Star Week, which includes the Home Run Derby and MLB Draft, culminating in the July 13 game to be held at Coors Field in Denver.

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

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