(CBS Sports) — In response to the recent measures undertaken by the state of Georgia to change election regulations, Major League Baseball has decided to relocate the 2021 All-Star Game and first-year player draft out of Atlanta. The game was originally scheduled for July 13 at the Braves’ Truist Park.
Commissioner Rob Manfred on Friday released the following statement through the league:
“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.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box. In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.
“We will continue with our plans to celebrate the memory of Hank Aaron during this season’s All-Star festivities. In addition, MLB’s planned investments to support local communities in Atlanta as part of our All-Star Legacy Projects will move forward. We are finalizing a new host city and details about these events will be announced shortly.”
The bill, which was recently signed into law by Georgia governor Brian Kemp, includes “new restrictions on voting by mail and gives the legislature greater control over how elections are run,” according to CBS News. It has been opposed by both Democrats and voting rights groups who believe the law will “disproportionately disenfranchise voters of color.”