Opponents of MLB’s decision Monday to move the All-Star Game 2021 to Denver over Georgia’s new voting law suggest the move could end up hurting Atlanta’s black residents instead of helping them.
They note that the move will give Atlanta an economic blow that is 51% black, and give a boost to Colorado’s capital, which is only 9% black, according to U.S. census figures.
The “Midsummer Classic” was set for July 13 at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, until Major League Baseball decided Friday to change its location – a decision that was applauded by several major corporations. On Monday, MLB announced that the game will now be played at Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies.
According to U.S. Census data for 201
Democrats and advocates for suffrage argue that Georgia’s new voting law, signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp on March 25, would make it harder for people, especially those of color, to vote.
Republican supporters say the law is needed to restore confidence in Georgia’s election following the controversial presidential election in 2020 and Georgia’s two U.S. Senate elections in January.
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The All-Star Game has historically had a remarkable, positive economic impact on the host cities, according to data from Baseball Almanac, as fans, players, sponsors and other people flock to the event. It typically provides business to local restaurants, hotels and other businesses.
GEORGIA VOTING LAW: READ FULL TEXT
Nearly 30% of businesses in Atlanta are black-owned, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The 2020 All-Star Game, which was supposed to host Los Angeles, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, which also cut last year’s MLB regular season by more than half of its normal length of 162 games. But the 2019 All-Star Game generated an estimated $ 65 million in regional economic activity.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the withdrawal of events on Friday in response to growing pressure to change the location of the July game following Georgia’s passage of its Republican-backed electoral reform legislation.
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“Over the past week, we have engaged in thought-provoking conversations with clubs, past and present players, the Players Association and the Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views,” Manfred said in a statement last week. “Major League Baseball supports basic voting rights for all Americans and opposes ballot box restrictions.”
The legislation imposes new restrictions on postal voting, adds voter ID requirements and restricts ballot boxes. It also mandates two Saturdays with early voting ahead of parliamentary elections, an increase from just one, leaving two Sundays as optional. In addition, legislation outside groups prohibits the distribution of food or water to those waiting in line to vote.
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Opponents of MLB’s decision to move the game reacted on social media.
“Moving the game from different areas … does not feel like the league is trying to expand its audience,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Why did MLB just move the All-Star Game from Atlanta, which is 51% black – to Denver, which is 9% black?” asked Paul Szypula of New York.
“At least they are moving from a 51% black city to a 10% black city in the name of justice,” wrote Nathan Wurtzel.
“Democrats are really good with all their ‘racial justice,'” Daily Wire reporter Ryan Saavedra wrote.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.