As public blowback continues to grow over the MLB’s decision to move the 2021 All-Star Game out of Georgia over the state’s new election laws, many have been left to speculate on what precipitated the decision.
While it’s not the first time a sports league has relocated an event from its scheduled location for political purposes, the move came as a surprise, with little said by players and managers in the days leading up to the announcement.
Just days after President Joe Biden called the Georgia election law “Jim Crow on steroids,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred came out with a statement, announcing:
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. 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.
However, according to one former player, Manfred’s claim that the decision had anything to do with pushback from players themselves was wrong.
Aubrey Huff, two-time World Series champion and 13-year MLB veteran, appeared on The Daily Wire’s Candace, hosted by Candace Owens, airing this Friday.
We had a chance to dive deeper into the MLB All-Star Game controversy with Huff.
Daily Wire: Everyone is talking about Major League Baseball and Georgia right now. As they have made the decision to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta due to Georgia’s Senate Bill 202, what has the reaction been from the players? Would they prefer Major League Baseball stay out of political conversations and debates?
Aubrey Huff: It looked like to me, from an outside perspective, that the players were blindsided. They had to have been. I was interested in what was really going on (when it comes to the All-Star Game being moved).
Now, I’ve been retired for 9 years. So, the only people I really know are current staff. Managers, hitting coaches and guys that I played with. I keep up with a lot of these guys. And I started reaching out to them. They were a little hesitant to tell me because they know I have a big mouth, but they gave me the gist of it.
From what they told me, this was a players union decision. So I called a few random players that I still talk to. One of these is a superstar. And this one superstar tells me, ‘We are f****** hot. We are pissed’. He tells me that the players union, Tony Clark, was getting heat about moving the game out of Georgia. I guess the players union got a hold of Major League Baseball without consulting the players first.
Word has it, there were two or three huge companies that pump in hundreds of millions of dollars in sponsorship deals to Major League Baseball every single year. They were threatening that if MLB does not leave Georgia, they’re pulling out. And this player told me that each one of these companies are worth over $350 million. So, we’re looking at billions of dollars in money. So Rob Manfred, made the decision without consulting anybody, MLB is out of there.
This had nothing to do with race. This had nothing to do with politics. This had everything to do with money. As everything does with these people.
No one should be shocked that money played a key role in the removal of the All-Star Game and MLB Draft from Atlanta. What is shocking, is that corporations have the type of influence to induce major decisions behind the scenes.
If what Huff says is true, there will likely never be any repercussions for the companies that threatened to pull their sponsorship dollars. The bank accounts of their shareholders won’t lose a cent.
It’s the small businesses in Atlanta that will suffer. It’s the local companies that were counting on the revenue generated from the festivities surrounding the game that will lose out. After a year in which hundreds of thousands of small businesses bore the brunt of the lockdown policies mandated by most states, the potential revenue from the MLB All-Star Game in Atlanta was a chance for them to get back on their feet.
According to The Daily Wire, the Georgia county that was set to host the 2021 All-Star Game will lose more than $100 million after MLB’s decision.
In an ironic twist, Major League Baseball will play its 2021 All-Star Game at the home of the Colorado Rockies in Denver, CO. Colorado, a significantly less diverse state, also has voter ID requirements.
Seems @MLB didn’t read Colorado election law just like they didn’t read Georgia’s law.
First-time mail voters in CO must include copy of ID with ballot.
CO matches signatures on mail ballots. Georgia no longer does.
In-person CO voters must show ID.
“Jim Crow on steroids”? https://t.co/LDchwKvDDC
— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) April 6, 2021
Major corporations with values and political views in opposition to over half of the country are running the show. At what point will we say enough is enough?
The Daily Wire reached out to Major League Baseball for comment. Major League Baseball responded by providing their previously released April 2, 2021 statement regarding the 2021 All-Star Game.
Aubrey Huff’s full appearance on Candace will be available exclusively to Daily Wire members this evening.
This report has been updated to include a statement from Major League Baseball.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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