It was revealed on Friday that the MLB All-Star Game won’t be played in Atlanta this year, and that set social media ablaze with reactions to the polarizing decision.
In an official statement, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred explained that the decision was politically motivated by a recently passed bill in Georgia that’s viewed as a vehicle for voter suppression, per CBC News Alerts.
Major League Baseball moves all-star game out of Atlanta to protest new Georgia law that critics say adversely affects ability of people of colour to vote, particularly in underserved areas. Several companies with headquarters in Georgia have also condemned the law. pic.twitter.com/NxVTq9OFPG— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) April 2, 2021
The Atlanta Braves struck a decidedly different tone in their response to MLB’s decision, suggesting that their community was a great place for hosting the MLB All-Star Game and shining more light on the political issue at hand.
The Braves statement regarding the moving of the MLB All-Star Game: pic.twitter.com/0Iapm3eIre— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 2, 2021
It’s unclear where the new venue will be for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game.
The MLB Draft was slated to take place in Atlanta as well, but that’s no longer happening either.
All told, the reaction from around the sports world regarding Manfred’s landmark call to move the game from Truist Park was largely positive.
I want to applaud and extend a thank you to @MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred for moving the All Star Game out of Georgia following the Governor’s signing of the new restrictive voting law. Way to be a leader and take a strong stance!— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 2, 2021
I applaud MLB for moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta. So many sports teams/leagues provide empty gestures when the time calls for definitive measures. Shame on the state legislators who chose to suppress Georgia voters & ruined a chance for baseball to truly honor Hank Aaron— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) April 2, 2021
#MLB should let Georgia apply to get the All Star Game back… of course they would have to wait in line, w/o water or snacks and the line closes at 5p— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) April 2, 2021
MLB is moving the All-Star Game out of Georgia! Just too much cognitive dissonance to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day while playing their prestige game in Kemp's Georgia. Wrote about why they needed to do this earlier in the week. https://t.co/iHPGUaRaxv— Dave Zirin (@EdgeofSports) April 2, 2021
Leaving Georgia was ultimately MLB’s call. Commissioner Rob Manfred had the power to make the decision to unilaterally move the 2021 All-Star Game. It did not require the players' union approval. The same is true in choosing the city the game will now move to— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) April 2, 2021
#MLB will move the #AllStarGame & #MLBDraft out of Atlanta in response to new GA voting laws.— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) April 2, 2021
Commissioner Rob Manfred says the decision is the "best way to demonstrate our values as a sport."
Thank you, MLB, for standing on the right side of history. https://t.co/s4nWv2c8Hr
Beyond the sports world, there were plenty of other irate public figures who weighed in on the matter, not least of whom was Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp and other Republicans who argued vehemently against the MLB All-Star Game’s moving:
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.— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) April 2, 2021
If Major League Baseball moves the all star game from Atlanta it will be based on total lies. As Karl Rove has pointed out a lot of states are far more restrictive on voting than Georgia. Will MLB pull out of New York, California etc? This is a smear and woke mob blackmail.— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) April 2, 2021
Dear GOP:@MLB caves to pressure & moves draft & #AllStarGame out of Georgia on the same week they announce a deal with a company backed by the genocidal Communist Party of #China— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) April 2, 2021
Why are we still listening to these woke corporate hypocrites on taxes, regulations & anti-trust? https://t.co/GWToVhAZvW