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The Atlanta Braves ripped Major League Baseball’s decision to move the 2021 all-star game out of Atlanta over Georgia’s election reforms.
The Braves released a statement on Friday shortly after the MLB announced its decision to move the game. The league has faced pressure in recent days from the players’ union as well as the White House to consider moving the game in protest of the reforms signed into law last week.
“The Atlanta Braves are deeply disappointed by the decision of Major League Baseball to move its’ (sic) 2021 All Star Game,” the Braves organization said.”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 organization will continue to stress the importance of equal voting opportunities and we had hoped our city could use this event as a platform to enhance the discussion. Our city has always been known as a uniter in divided times and we will miss the opportunity to address issues that are important to our community.”
“Unfortunately, businesses, employees, and fans in Georgia are the victims of this decision,” the Braves added. “We will continue to support the community legacy projects which have been planned and are in the process.”
The Braves statement regarding the moving of the MLB All-Star Game: pic.twitter.com/0Iapm3eIre
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 2, 2021
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced the league’s decision in a statement on Friday afternoon.
“Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views,” Manfred said. “I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.”
The MLB’s decision comes after President Joe Biden endorsed the idea on Wednesday in an interview with ESPN. Biden likened the voting reforms to “Jim Crow” laws and praised athletes who have used their platforms and sporting events to push political agendas.
“I think today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly. I would strongly support them [moving the all-star game out of Atlanta],” Biden told ESPN’s Sage Steele. “People look to them. They’re leaders.”
“Look at what’s happened with the NBA, as well. Look what’s happened across the board. The very people who are victimized the most are the people who are the leaders in these various sports, and it’s just not right,” Biden continued. “This is Jim Crow on steroids what they’re doing in Georgia and 40 other states.”
Biden also made several false claims about the election reforms in the interview. As The Daily Wire reported:
“Imagine passing a law saying you cannot provide water or food for someone standing in line to vote? Can’t do that? Come on,” Biden said. “Or you’re going to close a polling place at five o’clock when working people just get off? This is all about keeping working folks and ordinary folks that I grew up with from being able to vote.”
The Georgia law implements restrictions on handing out food and drink near polling places similar to restrictions already in place in New York and Biden’s home state of Delaware. The restrictions are designed to prevent lobbyists or special interest from handing out concessions at polling places. It does not ban voters from bringing or ordering food, nor does it prohibit polling workers from setting out self-service water stations or distributing food donated for general use.
The law does not mandate that polls close by 5 p.m. Election Day voting in Georgia lasts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and as long as voters are in line by 7 p.m., they are allowed to vote. Nothing in the new law changes those rules. In fact, the new election law expands voting access for most Georgia residents, according to The Washington Post.