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MLB All-Star Game, Draft Moved from Atlanta After GA Voting Restrictions Passed

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 2, 2021

Fans arrives at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, to attend the memorial for Baseball Hall of Famer and Braves legend Hank Aaron, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Atlanta. Just 2 1/2 weeks before his death Friday, Han 22, 2021, at age 86, Aaron joined civil rights icons to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. He wanted to spread the word to the Black community that the shots were safe in the midst of a devastating pandemic. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

Major League Baseball announced Friday that it is relocating the 2021 MLB All-Star Game and MLB draft, which were both scheduled to take place in Atlanta.

The Athletic's Lindsey Adler tweeted a statement released by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on the matter:

Lindsey Adler @lindseyadler

Whoa. MLB announces it is pulling this year's All-Star game and the amateur draft from Georgia. https://t.co/QqJzR3lAcy

The decision comes on the heels of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signing legislation last week, which critics—including the ACLU, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Southern Poverty Law Center—say restricts voting rights.

The Atlanta Braves released the following statement regarding MLB's decision:

Atlanta Braves @Braves

The Braves statement regarding the moving of the MLB All-Star Game: https://t.co/0Iapm3eIre

As part of the statement, the Braves noted that they are "disappointed" and said "businesses, employees and fans in Georgia are the victims of this decision."

Per Nick Corasaniti of the New York Times, the legislation was spearheaded by Georgia Republicans and it will result in stricter identification requirements for absentee ballots, as well as fewer drop boxes for ballots.

Also, those who can vote with provisional ballots will be limited, and it will become a crime to provide food or drink to those waiting in line to vote.

The changes have been condemned by Democrats, including President Joe Biden, whose victory over incumbent Donald Trump in the presidential election was aided by a win in Georgia.

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As part of his statement on moving the All-Star Game and draft out of Atlanta, Manfred said that MLB "fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans" and "opposes restrictions to the ballot box."

Manfred also said MLB is finalizing a new host city for the events with plans to announce it shortly.

The 2021 MLB All-Star Game promises to be a huge event since there was no All-Star Game last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the shortened season.

It had been scheduled for the Atlanta Braves' Truist Park on July 13, which would have been that particular ballpark's first All-Star Game and the first All-Star Game in Atlanta since it was held at Turner Field in 2000.

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