“I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft,” Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. said in a statement. “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”
While Truist Park is in Cobb County, just outside of Atlanta, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms warned her constituents that MLB’s move will likely be the first “of many dominoes to fall, until the unnecessary barriers put in place to restrict access to the ballot box are removed.”
“Just as elections have consequences, so do the actions of those who are elected,” she said in a statement.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican from neighboring Florida, blasted MLB for caving to public pressure.
“Why are we still listening to these woke corporate hypocrites on taxes regulations & anti-trust?” Rubio tweeted.
This week, President Joe Biden said he would strongly support moving the All-Star Game out of Georgia to protest the new law.
MLB’s action follows strong statements from the Georgia-based companies Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines blasting the state’s law.
Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia House of Representatives minority leader, said in a statement Friday that she’s “disappointed” that MLB officials took the All-Star Game from Atlanta but is “proud of their stance on voting rights.”
MLB has not determined a new All Star Game location yet, but as the story notes the 2020 game was supposed to be in LA but was canceled due to COVID-19. That’s an obvious solution if they want it. You can see a copy of the full MLB statement here. They’re basically following in the footsteps of the NBA, which you may recall pulled their 2017 All Star Game out of Charlotte following the passage of the extremely anti-trans HB2 in North Carolina; that law was later amended, though not repealed. Stacey Abrams has said elsewhere that she does not advocate for boycotts of Georgia in response to their voter suppression bill because the effects of such boycotts tend to hit lower income folks and people of color harder, but it’s still meaningful to see a response.
Some of the state’s most influential companies are criticizing a package of proposed changes to Texas elections that civil rights groups liken to Jim Crow laws and that will suppress voting.
The bill approved by the Texas Senate on Thursday would limit early voting hours, prohibit drive-thru voting and ban local election officials from sending vote-by-mail applications to voters unless specifically requested. A bill that combines the Senate and House versions is expected to reach Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk within weeks.
Among the Texas-based companies decrying the bill are American Airlines, computer-maker Dell and Waste Management.
The Houston-based waste disposal company said in a statement that it supports elections that are open to all voters.
“Integrity and equal access for all are critical to a healthy voting system and our democracy,” spokeswoman Janette Micelli said.
The Greater Houston Partnership, the Houston region’s chamber of commerce, said in an email that it believes that the state’s voting process should instill confidence in the process and be “open and readily accessible by all.”
“We encourage our elected leaders, on both sides of the political aisle, to balance these two ideals, strengthening all Texans’ right to vote in free and fair elections,” the GHP said.
AA and Dell we knew about, while Waste Management is new to the party – welcome, y’all. As for the GHP, that statement is pretty damn limp, and SB7 author Bryan Hughes is quoted in the story claiming this is exactly what his trash bill is meant to do. Don’t be mealy-mouthed, GHP. Take an actual stand or sit down and be quiet. Daily Kos, which notes that Southwest Airlines and AT&T have “offered vaguer statements in support of voting rights” without mentioning SB7, has more.