The Republican National Committee on Monday unveiled a television ad that will run during the All-Star Game and slams Major League Baseball for moving the showcase from Atlanta to Denver over Georgia’s elections overhaul.
The 30-second spot accuses the league of bowing to misleading liberal criticism to the detriment of Atlanta and Black business owners. It estimates Georgia’s largest city lost $100 million in revenue from the move.
“This was supposed to be Atlanta‘s night. But we were robbed,” the Rev. Melvin Everson, a former Republican state lawmaker, says in his narration. “Democrats stole our All-Star Game to push their divisive political agenda.”
The seven-figure ad buy will run on Fox during Tuesday’s telecast and air on CNN, MSNBC and Fox Atlanta.
MLB moved the midseason game amid an uproar over Georgia’s decision to tighten up absentee voting and empower state officials over local elections offices, among other changes.
Democrats called it a new form of “Jim Crow” that would harm minorities after the GOP suffered pivotal losses in the state in 2020.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said April 2.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and top GOP officials said MLB succumbed to “cancel culture” and was misled by activists, pointing to expanded weekend voting that’s more generous than many other states and the popularity of voter-identification laws.
“Politicians and corporations lied, while Black communities got hurt the most. Even though a majority of Black voters support laws like voter ID,” the pastor says in the new ad. “To Democrats, it’s just a game. But we’re the ones who got played.”
Large Atlanta corporations, including Coca-Cola and Delta, slammed the law after it was signed, prompting GOP officials to accuse them of hurting fellow businesses.
The RNC isn’t the only group taking a swing at the MLB and Democratic rivals.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee is running an ad that says Sen. Raphael Warnock, Georgia Democrat facing reelection in 2022, failed to stop the “radical left woke crowd” from boycotting Georgia.
It plays a partial clip of Mr. Warnock on CNN saying, “I think we all have to use our voices,” suggesting he was open to the move.
In the full clip, the senator said he wants to keep Georgia “open for business” and on April 2 he said: “Businesses, athletes, and entertainers can protest this law not by leaving Georgia but by coming here and fighting voter suppression head-on.”
Consumer’s Research, a nonprofit working to educate customers on the inner workings of corporate America, launched a seven-figure ad campaign on Thursday that accuses the league and its commissioner of “making baseball political” to make up for declining viewership and increasing ticket prices.
It also released ads against Ticketmaster because its parent company, Live Nation Entertainment, has been vocal in its opposition to state efforts to tighten up election rules.
• Jeff Mordock and Haris Alic contributed to this story.