The league announced that details of new locations for this year’s All-Star Game, scheduled for July 13, and the draft have been finalized. Prior to the announcement, with a major overhaul of the Georgia elections, baseball had the troubling prospect of an All-Star Week dedicated to former great Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves, a black pioneer of the game, the Babe Ruths The home run record had broken as a target group seen by black voters.
Mr Kemp, who vigorously defended the law on television appearances this week, criticized the decision to postpone the All-Star game and tried to blame State Democrats for their vocal criticism of the election restrictions.
“Today Major League Baseball has given in to fear, political opportunism and liberal lies,” Kemp said in a statement, calling out Mr. Biden and Stacey Abrams, the state’s title chief of Democrats. He continued, “I will not back down. Georgians are not bullied. We will continue to advocate safe, accessible and fair elections. “
The Georgia Democrats had not called for a boycott of the game, but they did pressure Major League Baseball and Georgia-based companies to defy state electoral law.
Ms. Abrams, who ran for governor against Mr. Kemp in 2018 and may challenge him again next year, said Friday that she was “disappointed” that the league officials drew the All-Star game but they “proud of their stance on the right to vote. ”
Currently, the ramifications of baseball’s decision are political and civic rather than financial. The impact of losing the All-Star Game on the Georgian economy is minimal, said Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist at Smith College, as most tickets would be sold on-site and many of the typical festivities would most likely be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Professor Zimbalist said major league baseball is taking a risk that could alienate conservative fans. After the country’s top professional basketball and soccer leagues embraced the Black Lives Matter movement last year, they faced organized boycotts by conservatives, though the efforts ultimately had little effect. And baseball’s fan base is there older and whiter than basketball or soccer.