Major League Baseball (MLB) announced this week that it would hold its 2025 All-Star game in Atlanta. The move followed a 2021 controversy in which the league publicly pulled the game from the city in opposition to voting reforms passed by the state of Georgia called “Jim Crow on steroids” by President Joe Biden.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement Thursday despite pulling the game from Atlanta in April 2021. Manfred also moved the amateur draft from the city that year.
The commissioner’s 2021 decision was made after speaking with Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams. Abrams lost the 2018 race but made a number of false claims implying that she was the rightful governor of the state.
The 2023 decision was reportedly made in consultation with the owners of the league’s 30 ball clubs. However, Manfred’s 2021 decision was reportedly made without full contact with the league’s owners.
Georgia’s bill made a number of changes to the state’s voting system before it was signed by Gov. Brian Kemp (R). The state made at least 17 days of early voting mandatory and stated that voting locations must be open for at least eight hours.
It also allowed for no-excuse absentee ballots, setting a window to apply for ballots of more than two months. The bill also used photo identification for absentee ballot applications.
The changes were met with a firestorm of criticism by the political left, with many comparing it to segregation.
However, conservatives pointed out that the changes left Georgia with more flexible voting rules than a number of states dominated by Democrats, including Delaware and New York.
Following the passage of the new law, Biden criticized it and echoed calls to remove the All-Star Game due to political disagreements.
Since the wide disagreement, there have been no major changes made to Georgia’s voting law.
“Georgia’s voting laws haven’t changed, but it’s good to see the MLB’s misguided understanding of them has,” Kemp wrote on social media.
Georgia’s voting laws haven’t changed, but it’s good to see the MLB’s misguided understanding of them has.
We look forward to welcoming the All-Star Game to Georgia.
Go Braves! https://t.co/MGtOeg99rI
— Brian Kemp (@BrianKempGA) November 16, 2023
“We look forward to welcoming the All-Star Game to Georgia,” he wrote. “Go Braves!”