WASHINGTON, D.C. — Major League Baseball announced on Friday that it is moving the All-Star Game as well as the draft from the planned host city of Atlanta after Georgia Republicans passed a new voter suppression law that is facing legal challenges and public outcry. The statement, penned by Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., condemns any effort to restrict access to the ballot and credits conversations with players over the last week with informing the decision.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support,” wrote Manfred. As of Friday, the MLB has not yet decided on a new host city.
The voter suppression law Senate Bill 202 signed by Gov. Brian Kemp (R) last week will add a host of new restrictions to the voting process, including criminalizing giving food or water to voters waiting in line. MLB joins companies like Delta and Microsoft, which have spoken out against the bill, as well as the New York Legislature, which is advancing legislation to ban all unnecessary state-funded travel to Georgia while S.B. 202 remains in effect.