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Kemp: Pulling All-Star game out of Atlanta will hurt business owners of color

Georgia Gov. Brian KempBrian KempGeorgia, South Carolina governors sign bills to pay college athletes Poll shows tight GOP primary for Georgia governor Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs election restriction bill MORE (R) condemned Major League Baseball (MLB) on Saturday, stating that its decision to  pull its All-Star game out of Atlanta would hurt business owners of color.

“It’s minority-owned businesses that have been hit harder than most because of an invisible virus by no fault of their own,” Kemp said at a restaurant in Atlanta, The Associated Press reported.

The restaurant is near Truist Park, where the All-Star game had initially been slated to take place. 

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“And these are the same minority businesses that are now being impacted by another decision that is by no fault of their own,” he added.

The MLB moved the game to Denver, Colo., on Tuesday in protest of a new voting law in Georgia that Democrats and critics say amounts to voter suppression and targets communities of color in particular. 

Kemp signed the legislation into law late last month behind closed doors.

The new law tightens restrictions on ballot drop boxes, sets ID requirements for absentee voting and makes it a crime for people to hand out water or food to individuals standing in line. 

However, Kemp said people shouldn't have to worry about politics when they're at a baseball game. 

“People shouldn’t have to go to the game and worry about if they’re sitting next to a Joe BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE supporter or a Donald TrumpDonald TrumpVeteran accused in alleged border wall scheme faces new charges Arizona Republicans to brush off DOJ concern about election audit FEC drops investigation into Trump hush money payments MORE supporter,” Brian said Saturday. “They ought to be able to go to the game, cheer for their team just like if you’re in church worshipping.”

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Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams, urged the MLB not to move the game from the state for fear of loss of jobs. 

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

Kemp has previously defended the law and said that it is worth the boycotts against his state.

“Free and fair elections are the foundation of who we are as a state and a nation. Secure, accessible, fair elections are worth the threats. They are worth the boycotts as well as the lawsuits,” Kemp said.

The Hill has reached out to the MLB for comment.