Georgia lawmakers and public figures expressed anger, disappointment and approval Friday in their responses to Major League Baseball’s announcement it would move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta, after the state passed a sweeping new elections law last week.
In a fiery statement, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) blasted MLB for having “caved to fear, political opportunism and liberal lies.” He called out by name President Biden, who had supported MLB moving the game, and blamed him and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams for driving MLB to make a “knee-jerk decision.”
“Cancel culture and woke political activists are coming for every aspect of your life, sports included,” Kemp said.
Abrams, a Democrat, tweeted that she was “disappointed @MLB will move the All-Star Game, but proud of their stance on voting rights. GA GOP traded economic opportunity for suppression.” She urged events and productions to “come & speak out or stay & fight” on behalf of people of color who now stood to lose wages because of boycotts.
Freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said MLB needed to “stop listening to their corporate communist sponsors and remember the little guys who buy their tickets.”
“Keep the politics off the field and stop ruining everything!” she tweeted.
In a statement, Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D-Ga.) said MLB’s decision was “the unfortunate consequence of [GOP] politicians’ actions” and seemed to discourage other boycotts.
“It is my hope that businesses, athletes, and entertainers can protest this law not by leaving Georgia but by coming here and fighting voter suppression head on, and hand-in-hand with the community,” Warnock said. “Additionally, the urgency to pass federal voter protection laws grows every day, and I will continue to be a leader in that fight.”
Sen. Jon Ossoff’s office initially pointed to his statement from Thursday, in which he said businesses should stop supporting the GOP rather than boycott the state. Late Friday, Ossoff (D-Ga.) released another statement criticizing the Georgia GOP as “out of control.”
“Georgia is hemorrhaging business and jobs because of their disastrous new Jim Crow voting law,” the senator said. “The Governor and the legislature are deliberately making it harder for Black voters to vote. They know it. Everybody knows it and this egregious and immoral assault on voting rights has also put our state’s economy at grave risk.”
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) said he had instructed his staff to begin drafting legislation to remove MLB’s federal antitrust exception.