Falcons' Arthur Blank Speaks Out Against Georgia's New Voting Law

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2021

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank watches play during the second half of an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Atlanta Falcons team owner and chairman Arthur Blank spoke out against Georgia's new restrictive voting laws Tuesday.

Blank said in a statement:

"Every voice and every vote matters and should be heard through our democratic process in Georgia. The right to vote is simply sacred. We should be working to make voting easier, not harder for every eligible citizen. To that end, AMBSE leadership, along with our nonprofit partners, conveyed that ideal directly to state officials in recent weeks. Our businesses and family foundation will continue to actively support efforts that advance voting access for the citizens of Georgia and across the nation."

Per Kelly Mena, Fredreka Schouten, Dianne Gallagher and Pamela Kirkland of CNN.com, "The new law imposes new voter identification requirements for absentee ballots, empowers state officials to take over local elections boards, limits the use of ballot drop boxes and makes it a crime to approach voters in line to give them food and water."

Democratic state Sen. Jen Jordan called the law "the Christmas tree of goodies for voter suppression." And President Joe Biden told reporters it was "Jim Crow in the 21st Century" and "an atrocity."

The New Georgia Project, the Black Voters Matter Fund and Rise Inc. have already joined together to file a lawsuit against the new measure.

"In large part because of the racial disparities in areas outside of voting—such as socioeconomic status, housing, and employment opportunities—the Voter Suppression Bill disproportionately impacts Black voters, and interacts with these vestiges of discrimination in Georgia to deny Black voters (an) equal opportunity to participate in the political process and/or elect a candidate of their choice," the lawsuit read.

Per Nicole Chavez and Jill Martin of CNN.com, the National Black Justice Coalition is calling for the PGA Tour to cancel the upcoming Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia, while MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark said the players are ready to discuss moving this season's All-Star Game out of Georgia.

WNBA players have also spoken out against Georgia's new law.

"SB 202 is a direct attack on the historic turnout and participation by voters during the November and January elections—elections where Georgians voted to elect the first Black and Jewish senators from Georgia," the WNBPA said in a statement.