State Watch

Abrams disappointed All-Star Game moving, but proud of MLB stance

Georgia voting rights activist and former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams on Friday said that while she is “disappointed,” by Major League Baseball’s move to relocate its 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta, she praised the league for “speaking out” on the state’s new controversial voting law. 

Abrams, a former Georgia state representative, wrote in a statement shared on Twitter that “others in positions of leadership” should join the MLB in condemning the law, which includes several voting restrictions such as requiring photo ID to vote by mail and limiting access to ballot drop boxes. 

“Like many Georgians, I am disappointed that the MLB is relocating the All-Star game; however, I commend the players, owners and the League commissioner for speaking out,” Abrams wrote. 

“As I have stated, I respect boycotts, although I don’t want to see Georgia families hurt by lost events and jobs,” she continued. “Georgians targeted by voter suppression will be hurt as opportunities go to other states.”

The founder of voting rights advocacy group Fair Fight Action also argued that in addition to Georgia Republicans renouncing “the terrible damage they have caused to our voting system and the harm inflicted on our economy,” corporate leaders also “must get off the sidelines as full partners in this fight.”

While Republicans have defended the law enacted last month as a way to restore confidence in Georgia’s voting system, Democrats have condemned the measure, arguing that it disproportionately targets voters of color, who cast ballots for Democrats in record numbers in recent elections. 

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Friday afternoon that the league would be moving the July 13 game out of Atlanta, calling the decision “the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport.” 

He added that the MLB draft will also be moved out of Georgia.

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

Abrams’s Friday statement comes days after she cautioned in a USA Today op-ed that while boycotts — such as against Georgia-based businesses that failed to condemn the law — can be effective at motivating social and legislative change, if such a movement is not “sustainable,” then “those least resilient bear the brunt of these actions; and in the aftermath, they struggle to access the victory.” 

“I have no doubt that voters of color, particularly Black voters, are willing to endure the hardships of boycotts,” Abrams added. “But I don’t think that’s necessary — yet.”

“I ask you to bring your business to Georgia and, if you’re already here, stay and fight,” she wrote. “Stay and vote.”

Tags All-Star Game Atlanta Boycotts Fair Fight Action Georgia Georgia voting law Major League Baseball MLB All-Star Game mlb draft Stacey Abrams Twitter voting restrictions

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