Major League Baseball’s (MLB) 2021 All-Star Game and Draft was pulled out of the American city of Atlanta due to new restrictive voting law in the state of Georgia, according to the league on Friday.
“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,” MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred said in a statement after consulting clubs, former and current players, the Players Association and the Players Alliance.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” he said. “Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.”
He said the league is finalizing a new host city for the All-Star Game and Draft and details will be announced shortly.
The decision came one week after Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed election bill S.B. 202, which adds new guidelines for mail-in ballots and voter registration. The law also gives state officials more authority and legislative control on how elections will be held.
Representative Park Cannon, a Black Democrat from Georgia, was arrested last week inside the Georgia statehouse while protesting the Republican governor.
Kemp has since faced harsh criticism from Democrats and voting rights groups who argue the law will disproportionately disenfranchise voters of color.
The new law is just one of Republican-backed election bills introduced in several US states after former President Donald Trump claimed he lost the 2020 presidential election because of voter fraud.
President Joe Biden called the Republican efforts “un-American” and “sick” during a news conference on Thursday.
At least 250 new laws have been proposed in 43 states to limit mail, early in-person and Election Day voting, the Washington Post said last month.
Source: Anadolu Agency