The Republican governor of the U.S. state of Georgia has slammed Major League Baseball (MLB) after the league announced it would be moving this year’s All-Star Game and the MLB’s proposed new restrictive voting law from the ‘State.
Signed at the end of last month, the legislation disproportionately deprives black voters in Georgia, which has a history of racial discrimination, and has drawn widespread scolding from local communities, advocates, lawmakers and others. enterprises.
I decided the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport was to relocate this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft, MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred said in a statement on Friday. The events were to take place in Atlanta.
Major League Baseball fundamentally supports the voting rights of all Americans and opposes restrictions at the ballot box, Manfred said.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp fired back on Saturday, saying the state would defend the legislation in court. The Republican leader accused the MLB of giving in to the fear and lies of liberal activists.
Today @MLB has given in to fear, political expediency and liberal lies.
Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) April 2, 2021
I want to be clear: I will not back down from this fight. We will not be intimidated, nor will we be silenced, said Kemp, who also criticized US companies that have supported the MLB movement.
Coca-Cola Co and Delta Airlines last week joined an offer by U.S. companies to challenge new voting rules, which impose stricter identity requirements, limit ballot boxes and make it a crime for the public to offer food and water to voters waiting in line. , among other measures.
Civil rights groups in Georgia have filed a civil lawsuit against the legislation, while US President Joe Biden has called the restrictions atrocity and a blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience.
Al Jazeeras Mike Hanna, of Washington, DC, said on Saturday that other US states, such as Texas and Florida, were considering similar election legislation. The difference, he said, is that companies have already spoken out against these potential laws.
It’s something that has a major national impact, not just about Georgia, it seems, Hanna said.
Ahead of the announcement of the MLB decision, The Nation sports editor Dave Zirin wrote that there is a growing awareness that Georgia has become the zero point in the fight to suppress voters in the United States.
If the national pastime holds its first event in Georgia, it gives an Americana patina to a state that codifies one of the most obscene parts of that country’s history, he said.
Zirin also stressed that the MLB decision would not be unprecedented; the National Basketball Association (NBA) moved its 2017 All-Star Game out of North Carolina due to anti-transgender legislation, and the National Football League (NFL) moved the 1993 Super Bowl from Arizona as she didn’t recognize Martin Luther Kings’ birthday.
Georgia Democratic organizer Stacey Abrams, known for helping Democrats win two U.S. Senate seats in the state this year, said she was disappointed the All-Star Game moved from Atlanta, but said congratulated the MLB for speaking out.
Abrams said Republicans who passed the law did so knowing the economic risks to our state and made it a priority to make it harder for people of color to vote on the economic well-being of all Georgians.
People protest Georgia’s voting restrictions outside the State Capitol in Atlanta on March 1 [File: Dustin Chambers/Reuters]The Miami Marlins and Baltimore Orioles MLB teams also praised the leagues’ decision. We are united with Commissioner Manfred in speaking out against this malicious legislative effort to suppress voters in Georgia and other state legislatures, the Orioles said in a statement.
Last month, Biden signed an order to encourage American voter turnout amid a torrent of Republican legislative efforts to restrict voting after former President Donald Trump falsely claimed the November 2020 presidential election had been stolen from him due to widespread fraud.
New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, which tracks election legislation across the country, reported that as of March 24, lawmakers had introduced 361 bills with restrictive provisions in 47 states.
This represents a 43% increase from the Feb.19 tally, the center said.
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