President Joe Biden endorsed moving Major League Baseball’s July All-Star game out of Georgia in retaliation for Georgia’s new election laws.
Endorsing moving the all-star game in an interview with ESPN on Wednesday, the president lauded players for “acting incredibly responsibly” in using their influence 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.”
The president then went on to repeat false claims that the new law prohibited food and drink at polling places and mandated the polls close at 5 p.m.
“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.”
Biden in ESPN interview says he would strongly support MLB relocating the all-star game from Atlanta over the Georgia law.pic.twitter.com/xGBzsFoD6e
— Christopher Cadelago (@ccadelago) April 1, 2021
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.
MLB Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark said last week that the player’s union would “look forward” to discussion moving the league’s 2021 all-star game out of Georgia in protest of the new voting law.
“We have not had a conversation with the league on that issue. If there is an opportunity to, we would look forward to having that conversation,” Clark said.
Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the election integrity bill into law last week to address concerns many residents had over voting procedures during the 2020 election.
“With Senate Bill 202, Georgia will take another step toward ensuring our elections are secure, accessible and fair,” Kemp said. “Ensuring the integrity of the ballot box isn’t partisan, it’s about protecting the very foundation of who we are as Georgians and Americans.”