Major League Baseball (MLB) commissioner Robert Manfred decided to move the All-Star Game on his own after holding extensive discussions with voting rights groups affiliated with Lebron James, Stacey Abrams and Pastor Al Sharpton, sources familiar with the move told Fox News.
Abrams and Sharpton told the commissioner that players would boycott the game if not. Sources say Abrams’ current stance that she is disappointed with the Georgia boycott is suspicious as she was a key player in the decision. James has publicly supported Georgia’s boycott.
Abrams’ group and Sharpton also called on the Commissioner to support other issues, including voter turnout and HR 1
Manfred decided that the easiest way to tackle the case was to leave Georgia, according to a source.
After Manfred made the decision, he told the eight-member board committee before announcing, which surprised the 22 other teams. Manfred said the decision was made after discussions with the MLB Players Association and its Players Alliance.
GEORGIA VOTING LAW: READ FULL TEXT
The game is now being held in Colorado.
“Disappointed @MLB will move the All-Star Game, but proud of their stance on the right to vote. The GA GOP traded financial opportunity for repression,” Abrams wrote on Twitter last week after the move was announced. “On behalf of PoC targeted by # SB202 to lose votes + now salary, I urge events and productions to come and talk or stay and fight. #Gapol”
She later released another statement. “Like many Georgians, I am disappointed that MLB is moving its All-Star game. However, I commend the players, owners and league commissioner for speaking out,” she wrote. “As I have said, I respect boycotts, even though I do not want to see Georgia’s families hurt by lost events and jobs. Georgians targeting voter oppression will be harmed when opportunities go to other states.”
Abrams could not be immediately reached for comment on his involvement in the decision.
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Georgia lawmakers passed the “Election Integrity Act of 2021” in a party line last month following a controversial 2020 election cycle. The bill included restrictions on absenteeism and post-voting, increased regulatory oversight of state elections, additional voter ID requirements and restrictions for non-election staff who provide food and drink to voters waiting in line at polling stations.
Republican supporters, including the Georgian government Brian Kemp, hailed the legislation as crucial to ensuring the integrity of state elections.