Major League Baseball will move the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta, the league announced Friday. A new location has not been announced.
Last week, MLB Players’ Association president Tony Clark told the Globe that the players’ union was preparing to discuss moving the annual midsummer exhibition out of Georgia after state lawmakers passed legislation that some said will negatively impact the ability of Black voters to reach the polls.
On Wednesday, President Biden told ESPN he supported moving the game.
“Look at what’s happened across the board. The very people who are victimized the most are the people who are the leaders in these various sports, and it’s just not right,” Biden told Sage Steele. “This is Jim Crow on steroids, what they’re doing in Georgia and 40 other states.”
He also commended MLB players for standing up against the legislation.
“I think today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly,” Biden said. “I would strongly support them doing that. People look to them. They’re leaders.”
In a statement issued Friday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said:
“Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views. 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.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box. 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.
“We will continue with our plans to celebrate the memory of Hank Aaron during this season’s All-Star festivities. In addition, MLB’s planned investments to support local communities in Atlanta as part of our All-Star Legacy Projects will move forward. We are finalizing a new host city and details about these events will be announced shortly.”
In 2016, the NBA decided to move its 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, N.C., a reaction to a bill enacted by the state that limited anti-discrimination protections. In explaining the decision, the league said it was acting on its “longstanding core values,” which “include not only diversity, inclusion, fairness, and respect for others but also the willingness to listen and consider opposing points of view.”
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