Major League Baseball is moving its July all-star game out of Atlanta, Ga., in protest of the new election reforms signed into law last month.
“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,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a Friday statement, according to ESPN. “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 decision comes days after President Joe Biden endorsed such a move. Biden said that athletes should take the lead in protesting the new election reforms, which he likened to Jim Crow, and praised athletes who have used their platforms and sports to make political statements.
“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 during a Wednesday interview. “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 repeated false claims about the new election reforms, such as alleging they bar food and refreshments at polling places and mandate polls close by 5 p.m. Neither claim is true though Biden has repeated each multiple times. Biden has accused Republicans in Georgia of attempting to restrict voting access, despite the new regulations expanding voting access for most Georgians, according to The Washington Post.
“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.”
As The Daily Wire reported:
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.