In a surprising statement on Friday afternoon, Rob Manfred, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, announced the league would not be holding its annual All Star Game in Atlanta, Georgia. The Atlanta location held some signifgance as there was to be a special dedication to Hank Aaron, the former Brave. Manfred wrote in its statement they “will continue with their plans to celebrate the memory of Hank Aaron during this season’s All Star festivities”. This was to be the first All Star game to be played in Truist Park, formerly SunTrust Park, which opened in 2017.
According to the statement from the commissioner the move is in response to the new restrictive voting laws that had been passed in Georgia in recent weeks. Manfred wrote that speaking with “Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, The Players Alliance on their views brought him to the decision”.
Here is Commissioner Manfred’s entire statement:
“Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views. 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.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box. In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.
“We will continue with our plans to celebrate the memory of Hank Aaron during this season’s All-Star festivities. In addition, MLB’s planned investments to support local communities in Atlanta as part of our All-Star Legacy Projects will move forward. We are finalizing a new host city and details about these events will be announced shortly.”
The Braves have also given a statement:
The Braves statement regarding the moving of the MLB All-Star Game: pic.twitter.com/0Iapm3eIre— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 2, 2021
The new host city has not been announced, but it has been suggested that it be in a state that does not subject its citizens to suppressive voting restrictions.