Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson led a right-wing backlash after Major League Baseball said it would not play its all-star game in Georgia due to a new law that restricts voting rights in the state.
The former president and Fox News host, some say, is that his Republican political heir has thus opposed current President Joe Biden and the Democrat he served as vice president, Barack Obama.
Baseball is already losing huge numbers of fans, Trump said in a statement, and now they’re leaving Atlanta with their All-Star Game because they’re afraid of the radical left Democrats.
Boycott baseball and all the awakened businesses that interfere with free and fair elections. Do you listen to Coke, Delta and all?
Coke and Delta are among the companies that have expressed concern about Georgia’s law, which restricts early voting and postal voting, measures seen as targeting minority voters likely to support Democrats.
Laws under consideration in other Republican-led states have drawn criticism from U.S. businesses. Georgian law was passed by Republicans after Biden won the state over Trump and Democrats won both Senate second-round elections in January.
Referring to the post-Civil War southern segregation, Biden called the law: Jim Crow in the 21st century.
In his own statement on Saturday, Obama praised the MLB for taking a stand on behalf of the franchise for all citizens.
He also said: There is no better way for the hobby of the Americas to honor the great Hank Aaron, who always led by example.
Aaron, known as Hammer, was a longtime home MLB record holder who played for the Atlanta Braves and suffered racist abuse throughout his life in the sport. He died in January, at the age of 86.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he decided the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport was to move the All-Star Game and the MLB Draft from the House of the Braves this year to ‘Atlanta.
Major League Baseball fundamentally supports the voting rights of all Americans and opposes restrictions at the ballot box.
The move was not without precedent. In 2016, North Carolina lost the right to host high-profile NCAA college events because of a bill that restricted the rights of transgender people.
On Friday night, Carlson, who some believe could be a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 if Trump did not run again, claimed the MLB believed it had veto power over the Democratic process.
Before the MLB took action, Biden said he would support moving events from Atlanta. Carlson said it shows the president is willing to destroy even something as healthy as the country’s traditional game just to increase the power of his political party.
The head of the MLB players’ union has indicated his support for the move. In a statement Friday, the great New York Yankees and Miami Marlins general manager Derek Jeter said: We should be promoting increasing voter turnout as opposed to anything that negatively impacts the ability to vote. support the commissioners’ decision to defend the values of our game.
The MLB All-Star Game was scheduled to take place at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves. Photograph: John Amis / AP
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a pet peeve for Trump for his refusal to undo Bidens’ victory, said the MLB had given in to fear, political expediency and liberal lies. He also decried the culture of cancellation, a key Republican talking point.
Stacey Abrams, who Kemp defeated in a 2018 election he presented as Georgia’s secretary of state, said she was disappointed the All-Star game was not being played in the state.
But Abrams, who campaigns for the right to vote and has become an influential figure in the National Democratic Party, also said she was proud of [MLBs] position on the right to vote and urged events and productions to come forward or to stay and fight.
Also on Friday, nearly 200 companies signed a statement expressing concern over measures to restrict voting rights in Republican-led states.
Many observers have pointed out that the political ramifications of MLB’s decision to move the All-Star Game will outweigh the economic fallout, given that coronavirus restrictions have reportedly limited capacity at the event this year.
A prominent sports economics professor has warned that MLB could risk losing Tory support in a fan base that skewed to the right.
After the nation’s top professional basketball and football leagues embraced the Black Lives Matter movement last year, Smith College’s Andrew Zimbalist told The New York Times they have faced organized boycotts of from the Conservatives, although the effort ultimately had little effect. And the baseball fan base is older and whiter than basketballs or soccer balls.
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