Recently, Major League Baseball decided to move the 2021 All-Star game from Atlanta to Denver as a protest against the new Georgia voting laws. Commissioner Rob Manfred maintained that “the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game” thereby showing MLB’s values to be out of step with millions of baseball fans and at least a plurality of the nation as a whole who support the law. “This was neither our decision, nor our recommendation, and we are saddened that fans will not be able to see this event in our city,” the Braves said in a statement. “Unfortunately, business, employees and fans in Georgia are the victims of this decision.”
Georgia’s law makes it easier to vote while protecting ballot integrity. It maintains the same voting hours as before and provides far more days of early voting than states such as New York and provides for no-excuse absentee ballots where states such as New York does not. Georgia has a robust early-voting period, expanded by the new law to 17 days, with a extra Saturday and two optional Sundays. New York has only eight days of early voting yet MLB, for some undisclosed reason, still maintains its office there and shows no concern for New Yorker’s voting rights.
The new law does require absentee voters to request ballots by providing their driver’s license number, the last four digits of their Social Security number or a copy of some other accepted form of identification. They also have to provide this information when they mail in their ballots. Under prior rules, people signed an absentee-ballot application and signed an inside envelope containing the ballot when they mailed it in. These common-sense changes are put in place to prevent fraud and many other states already have similar voter-ID laws.
It is unclear what provisions of the new law MLB objects to saying only that it supports “fair” voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box. It does not indicate how the law restricts legal voting or is unfair although MLB seems to think the law racist in some way even though the same rules apply to all and minorities are just as capable of complying with them as white people, it would seem. MLB’s boycotting of Atlanta is what is wrong and unfair here in hurting the people of Atlanta, by withdrawing the All-Star game for no good reason, and standing against ballot integrity. As a long-time MLB fan I have sadly come to see that my values no longer align with MLB.
Sen. Marco Rubio slammed Mr. Manfred in a letter asking if he’d remain a member of the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club, since it is located in Georgia; end baseball’s profitable engagement with China and Cuba, which certainly don’t hold free elections; and terminate the major leagues’ “lucrative financial relationship” with Tencent, a Chinese company with close ties to the Communist Party. The Commissioner has yet to respond.