(Reuters) -Major League Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred on Friday ordered the sport to relocate its 2021 All-Star Game and amateur player draft out of Atlanta in protest over Georgia’s new voting restrictions.
The removal of the lucrative All-Star Game marks one of the most significant and high-profile gestures after Georgia last week strengthened identification requirements for absentee ballots, shortened early voting periods for runoffs and made it a crime to offer food and water to voters waiting in line.
“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,” Manfred said in a written statement.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”
The voting law, which was endorsed by the state’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp, faces legal challenges from civil rights groups and others who say it aims to suppress voting among Black people and other racial minorities who tend to vote Democratic.