After a shortened season, the 2021 MLB All-Star Game was set to take place in Atlanta, Georgia on July 13th at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves. That was the plan until President Joe Biden appeared on ESPN and claimed that due to Georgia’s new election laws, they should move the All-Star Game out of the state. President Biden claimed that Georgia’s new laws were“racist”and said they echoed “Jim Crow” senses.
Georgia’s new legislation was made to slowly start getting things back to normal while still allowing for leeway within the system. The most notable changes are the requirement of identification when voting, removing some drop boxes, and giving the state more control over how elections are run.
President Biden denounced the new laws toward the MLB and other companies that did business with Georgia while these laws were being signed. After these claims were made, the Washington Post gave his speech “Four Pinocchios” which is their way of saying Biden’s claims were inaccurate. Stacey Abrams, former Georgia Representative was in agreement with the President, claiming that the Georgia GOP “traded economic opportunity for suppression.” This was also marked as false by the Washington Post, as they said that Georgia was actually looking to expand business opportunities inside the state.
Biden’s claims of racism were echoed throughout the sports world and were heard by many people including the MLB Players Alliance, who pushed MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to change the location of the All-Star Game. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said in a press conference, “We shouldn’t apologize for wanting to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat.”
Georgia answers those concerns by still allowing absentee ballots without giving a reason for the absentee, allowing up to a 17 day period of early voting, still having voting boxes throughout the cities, and letting citizens enter the buildings to vote as long as they have picture identification with a signature. The latter has been needed for voting in some states, as well as common things in life like buying cigarettes or alcohol and entering federal buildings. This is in stark contrast to Delaware, Biden’s home state, which offers a reasonable excuse for absentee ballots, no early voting laws, no vote boxes, and laws already put in place for voter identification. Georgia claims that these laws, in fact, help encourage and enforce registration.
MLB made the decision to move the 2021 MLB All-Star Game as well as the MLB Draft from Atlanta to Denver, Colorado in Coors Field, the home of the Colorado Rockies. This decision to move has split many people and has cost the state of Georgia over $100 million since they lost hotel reservations, advertisements, and endorsements, just to name a few. This will be the 91st MLB All-Star Game, as well as the second time hosting for the Rockies, who last hosted the event in 1998 in the same stadium.