Warriors coach Steve Kerr, typically opinionated on political matters, was among those cheering Major League Baseball’s decision Friday to pull its 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta after Georgia passed a bill designed to restrict voting rights.
“I was very excited that MLB made that decision,” Kerr said before tipoff against the Toronto Raptors in Tampa. “It’s really impactful for corporate America to make their voices heard when it comes to matters of democracy and justice.”
Georgia’s SB 202, passed by Republican lawmakers, made sweeping changes to absentee balloting and early voting laws and is widely considered a reaction to Democratic candidate Joe Biden defeating Donald Trump in the general election, followed by two Democrats beating Republicans in senate runoff races.
The decision by MLB, a sport losing ground among millennials, clearly was influenced by its bottom line. Pulling the All-Star Game makes a statement against racism. The decision was applauded by voter’s advocacy groups and many in the sports world.
Other corporations, including Georgia-based companies Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines, have issued statements condemning the bill, which is considered suppressive to people of color – the voting bloc most responsible for recent election results.
“MLB showed a lot of courage, and so did the other companies that are doing the same thing,” Kerr said.
There is, Kerr pointed out, a short-term downside to what amounts to a boycott, but perhaps a long-term upside.
“Sad for the people involved who will be hurt economically, many of whom are workers, ushers, stadium employees, people who own restaurants in the area,” he said. “All those people are going to be financially impacted.
“But it’s good for states to have to think about that, the economic damage that comes with decisions to deny people democracy in their state.”
MLB is now considering alternative locations for its midsummer classic.