Major League Baseball announced Friday it is relocating the 2021 All-Star Game and Draft from Atlanta in response to a new restrictive voting law in Georgia.
Critics have called the law, which restricts such things as even providing water to people waiting in line to vote, "Jim Crow 2.0."
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box," commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "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."
In the same statement, the commissioner said the league engaged in conversations leading up to Friday's decision with its clubs, former and current players, the MLBPA, The Players Alliance and more.
The Players Alliance released a statement following Friday's announcement.
The Braves in a statement said they "are deeply disappointed" and the move was "neither our decision, nor our recommendation."
President Joe Biden said Wednesday on ESPN he would "strongly support" moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp released the following statement later Friday afternoon:
“Today, Major League Baseball caved to fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies. Georgians -- and all Americans -- should fully understand what the MLB's knee-jerk decision means: cancel culture and woke political activists are coming for every aspect of your life, sports included. If the left doesn’t agree with you, facts and the truth do not matter.
“This attack on our state is the direct result of repeated lies from Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams about a bill that expands access to the ballot box and ensures the integrity of our elections. I will not back down. Georgians will not be bullied. We will continue to stand up for secure, accessible, fair elections. Earlier today, I spoke with the leadership of the Atlanta Braves who informed me they do not support the MLB's decision.”
Manfred said the league is finalizing a new host city for the two events and details "will be announced shortly." The league will move forward with its planned investments into local Atlanta communities.
MLB also will move forward with its plans to celebrate the memory of Braves Hall of Famer Hank Aaron during All-Star festivities this summer. Aaron passed away at the age of 86 in January.