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Obama praises MLB for pulling All-Star Game from Georgia
Former President Obama praised MLB after it pulled its All-Star Game from Georgia in protest of the state's new voting restrictions.
"Congratulations to @MLB for taking a stand on behalf of voting rights for all citizens. There's no better way for America's pastime to honor the great Hank Aaron, who always led by example," Obama tweeted Saturday.
The praise comes after MLB announced it was pulling its July 13 game out of Atlanta in opposition to voter restrictions Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed into law last month.
Rob Manfred, MLB's commissioner, said in a statement that the decision was made after conversations with teams and players and that moving the game out of the Peach State is "the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport." 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," Manfred said.
Among the restrictions Kemp signed into law are limits on ballot drop boxes, shorter periods in which Georgia residents can apply for mail-in ballots and new photo ID requirements for absentee voting.
The new measures have come under withering criticism from Democrats and a string of private companies likening it to voter suppression.
Georgia Democrats said they were disappointed that their state will not host the All-Star Game but said they understood the stance MLB was taking.
"Disappointed @MLB will move the All-Star Game, but proud of their stance on voting rights. GA GOP traded economic opportunity for suppression," voting rights advocate and 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams tweeted.
Republicans have cast the measures as necessary to ensure election security, though no evidence of widespread fraud in the state has emerged, and November's election results were certified on three separate occasions.
The GOP hammered MLB's decision, saying it caved to pressure from Democrats.
"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," Kemp said in a statement Friday.