WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Claudia L. Tenney, R-22, New Hartford, says Major League Baseball’s decision to move its All-Star Game from Atlanta in response to the state’s passage of elections legislation last week is an error.
MLB Commissioner, and Rome native, Rob Manfred announced the decision on Friday with a statement saying, “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. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support,” Manfred’s statement added.
The move means that 2021 All-Star Game, the MLB draft and other associated events will no longer take place in Atlanta. This year’s All-Star Game was scheduled for July 13 at the Atlanta Braves’ Truist Park stadium.
On Monday night, Major League Baseball announced it plans to relocate the All-Star Game to Coors Field in Denver.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday night because MLB hadn’t announced the move yet. The commissioner’s office was expected to declare Tuesday that the Colorado Rockies will host the game.
ESPN was first to report the decision.
“Major League Baseball’s decision to move the All-Star Game from Atlanta is embarrassing,” Tenney said. “Corporate America should not be in the business of using its influence coercively to prevent state leaders from governing.” In addition to the MLB move, several Georgia-based businesses, including Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines have also issued statements opposing the new law.
“The American people have the ability to hold their elected officials accountable at the ballot box. But apparently that’s not good enough for corporate America, which now wants to cancel any group, policy, or individual it disagrees with,” said Tenney of her disagreement with MLB’s decision. “This is dangerous and antithetical to the values of freedom of thought and expression that are so vital to our constitutional republic.”
“We also can’t forget that the All-Star Game in Atlanta would have been a huge opportunity for Georgia’s vibrant minority-owned small business community. They’re now left paying the price for the progressive left’s wokeness,” the New Hartford Republican added. “Unfortunately, serious misinformation has been spread about the election law in Georgia. While it should be the role of a free press to set the record straight, they’ve instead fed into the frenzy,” added Tenney.
“The election reform bill recently passed in Georgia this week is not ‘Jim Crow in a suit and tie’ as Democrats have tried to make it seem. It doesn’t prohibit family members from dropping off absentee ballots, it doesn’t ban early voting on Sunday, and it doesn’t change Georgia’s Election Day voting hours. Yet the media continues to perpetuate these lies and misinformation,” Tenney said, adding “when July 13, 2021, rolls around, I’ll be watching something other than the 2021 MLB All-Star Game.”
Manfred made the decision to move the All-Star events and the amateur draft from Atlanta after discussions with individual players and the Players Alliance, an organization of Black players formed after the death of George Floyd last year, the commissioner said in a statement.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has vowed to defend the measure, and other Republicans have criticized MLB’s move.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott backed out of throwing the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opener on Monday and said the state would not seek to host the All-Star Game or any other special MLB events.
“It is shameful that America’s pastime is not only being influenced by partisan politics, but also perpetuating false political narratives,” Abbott said.
Coors Field last hosted the All-Star Game in 1998, the fourth season for the stadium and sixth for the Rockies franchise.