Joe Biden Would 'Strongly Support' MLB Moving All-Star Game from Georgia

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2021

President Joe Biden delivers a speech on infrastructure spending at Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/Associated Press

Last week, Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark said the players "would look forward" to discussing the possibility of moving this season's All-Star Game out of Georgia in lieu of the state's restrictive new voting laws.

During an appearance on SportsCenter Wednesday, President Joe Biden said he would support the players in those efforts (6:00 mark):

"I think today's professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly. I would strongly support them doing that. People look to them, they're leaders. Look at what's happened with the NBA, as well. Look 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. This is Jim Crow on steroids, what they're doing in Georgia and 40 other states."

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who would be the National League's manager for the All-Star Game, told reporters he would consider skipping the event if it wasn't moved from Atlanta:

"I will certainly consider it. I don't know enough about it right now. But when you're restricting—trying to restrict—American votes, American citizens, that's alarming to me to hear it. As we get to that point and we know more, I will make a better decision. But I do think that if it gets to that point, it will certainly be a decision I have to make personally."

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Wednesday that the league "is conducting preliminary conversations now on how to handle the calls for the game to be moved to another city, sources said."

Kelly Mena, Fredreka Schouten, Dianne Gallagher and Pamela Kirkland of CNN.com reported that the new Georgia voting measure "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 described the law as "the Christmas tree of goodies for voter suppression."

If the MLB decides to move the Midsummer Classic, it wouldn't be the first time a professional sporting league moved an All-Star Game for political reasons. In 2017, the NBA moved its All-Star Game from Charlotte after North Carolina passed a law that removed anti-discrimination protections for the state's LGBTQ citizens. The law was later repealed.