Major League Baseball is moving the All-Star Game and Amateur Draft out of the Atlanta suburb this summer in response to Georgia’s new electoral law criticized by civil rights groups who say it will make it harder for people to vote.
It is the first major event to take place a few days after Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. and Coca-Cola Co. spoke out against the law. Supporters of the law say the changes are necessary to maintain electoral integrity.
In a statement on Friday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said that after a discussion with the teams, the players union and current and former players, he “decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport” is to hold the event to publish the most prestigious in the sports calendar. A new host city has not yet been completed.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes ballot box restrictions,” Manfred said. “Fair access to voting continues to be steadfastly supported by our game.”
This year’s all-star game was especially poignant in the town where baseball legend Hank Aaron played much of his career. Aaron, the hard-hitting outfielder who suffered a flurry of racism on his way to beat Babe Ruth’s record on home runs during his 21 seasons with the Braves, died earlier this year. This would be the first All-Star game in the Atlanta area since 2000 and the first in Truist Park, home of the Braves, since 2017.