ATLANTA — Major League Baseball announced Friday that they are moving the All-Star Game and the 2021 draft from Atlanta, Georgia.
The move comes as a response to the state's new voting law that critics call "unacceptable" and "a step backward.”
In a statement, the league said the decision comes after engaging "in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance."
"Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box," Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr., said. "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."
The league said they still plan to celebrate Hank Aaron's life and plans to "support local communities in Atlanta as part of our All-Star Legacy Projects" would move forward.
In response to the league's announcement, the Braves issued a statement saying it wasn't their decision nor recommendation for the league to move the All-Star game.
"The Braves organization will continue to stress the importance of equal voting opportunities."
In response, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued the following statement:
“Today, Major League Baseball caved to fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies.
Georgians - and all Americans - should fully understand what the MLB's knee-jerk decision means: cancel culture and woke political activists are coming for every aspect of your life, sports included.
If the left doesn’t agree with you, facts and the truth do not matter.
This attack on our state is the direct result of repeated lies from Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams about a bill that expands access to the ballot box and ensures the integrity of our elections.
I will not back down. Georgians will not be bullied.
We will continue to stand up for secure, accessible, fair elections.
Earlier today, I spoke with the leadership of the Atlanta Braves who informed me they do not support the MLB's decision.”
Voting rights activist and former Georgia state Rep. Stacey Abrams issued a statement saying that although she was disappointed in MLB relocating its All-Star game, she commends those who spoke out.
The league said it would announce a new site for the All-Star game and draft shortly.