Two Georgia reps say MLB commissioner should make amends over 2021 All-Star game

Major League Baseball moved its 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta over objections to Georgia voting laws
Truist Park would have been the site of MLB's 2021 All-Star Game. But Commissioner Rob Manfred...
Truist Park would have been the site of MLB's 2021 All-Star Game. But Commissioner Rob Manfred moved the game from Atlanta to Denver over objections to the state's new voting laws.(Associated Press)
Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 4:52 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 18, 2022 at 4:56 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Two Georgia Republican congressmen are calling on Major League Baseball (MLB) to redress the damages done to metro Atlanta businesses last year when the league pulled its All-Star Game out of Atlanta because of the state’s new voting law.

In a Monday letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, U.S. Reps. Buddy Carter and Barry Loudermilk asked how “MLB will redress the harm caused to the state of Georgia by moving the 2021 MLB All-Star Game out of Georgia in reaction to baseless attacks on the state’s Election Integrity Act.”

The bill continues to draw loud criticism from Democrats and the left, including President Joe Biden, who called Georgia’s voting law “Jim Crow 2.0.”

“According to Georgia’s Secretary of State, more than 850,000 Georgians cast a ballot in person or returned an absentee ballot,” Carter and Loudermilk wrote. “Compared to early-voting turnout in recent primaries, this voter turnout represented a 168% increase over the 2018 election, which was the last gubernatorial primary.”

Carter represents much of south and coastal Georgia’s 1st district, including Savannah, while Loudermilk’s 11th district includes much of metro Atlanta’s northern suburbs, including Marietta and Smyrna.

“It is estimated that moving the game from the state cost local businesses, many of which are minority-owned businesses and faced significant hardship recovering from the pandemic, more than $100 million,” the congressmen wrote. “While we are pleased that the Atlanta Braves ultimately overcame this politicization and claimed the 2021 World Series, we are saddened that MLB fell victim to the lies spread about what our state law truly does and were bullied into moving the All-Star game out of Georgia.

“Any voter suppression claims have been thoroughly debunked, yet your organization has failed to take any responsibility for the damage your mischaracterizations caused.”

Among other questions, Loudermilk and Carter asked Manfred when will the MLB All-Star Game return to Atlanta; what, if anything, does MLB intend to do to remedy the harm caused to Georgia, Atlanta and its surrounding communities; and what steps will MLB take to depoliticize baseball and ensure all political viewpoints feel welcome watching and enjoying the game.

Manfred announced the 2021 All-Star Game would be held in Denver instead of Atlanta. It also moved its 2021 draft out of the city, according to CBS News, two days after President Biden endorsed moving the game out of Atlanta in an interview with ESPN.

“I think today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly. I would strongly support them doing that. People look to them. They’re leaders,” Biden said.

“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,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”

“The MLB let the liberal mob dictate business decisions in a shameful and despicable manner,” Monday’s letter concluded. “It is shameful that MLB caved to cancel culture and punished the residents and business owners of Georgia. This decision by the MLB was predicated on a lie. It is only right for you to make amends.

“In closing, Georgians have a deep love for the sport of baseball, but this move from the MLB is an attack on both our state and true voter integrity. Going forward, we hope that MLB decides to be a force that choses to unite Americans rather than divide them.”

MLB’s 2022 All-Star Game will be played Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.