The Yankees were off on Friday, but while they rested, Major League Baseball announced some truly seismic news. In 2019, the Braves’ new stadium in Atlanta — or, well, Cobb County — was awarded the 2021 All-Star Game. It made sense, as the Midsummer Classic typically seems to highlight recently constructed ballparks, and Atlanta hasn’t had one since 2000.
Recent events in Georgia have forced MLB to do the previously unthinkable and actually move the All-Star Game away from Atlanta. Extremely controversial measures were recently passed by the state government, and a good number of MLB players — who tried to move the sport in a more social-conscious direction last year — were furious. It was unclear if anything would come of it, but on Friday afternoon, MLB announced that it would indeed be doing so, and that the current location is to be announced.
We have to wade into politics here because it directly relates. Speaking as a Georgia resident, our voting rights have been attacked since January. The November election and the January run-off for the two U.S. Senate seats did not go the way of the Georgia governor’s political party. Since then, baseless accusations about the legitimacy of the votes have motivated the governor’s party to pass SB 202, a new bill that — among many items — gives power to State Election Board to potentially overturn county results and makes it more difficult to vote absentee, use ballot drop boxes, vote early in run-off elections, or even to hand out food or drinks to people standing in long lines to vote.
To put it simply, it’s abhorrent to go after voting rights, especially on such a faulty merit. I don’t blame MLB players one bit for putting their feet down on this topic. (And it should be noted that corporate sponsors were even more of a driving force behind the move.) It should not be this difficult to make your voice heard through the democratic process. It’s sad that it’s had to come to this, and I know Georgia businesses near me will be affected by it, but frankly, something had to be done. Kudos to MLB for taking a big step toward hopefully making a meaningful difference.
To read MLB’s full statement, read the tweet below: