Major League Baseball pulled its 2021 All-Star Game and Draft from Atlanta on Friday afternoon, responding to calls to leave Georgia in light of the state’s recent passing of a law that restricts voting rights. It wasn’t just outside voices wanting the league to make the decision, as commissioner Rob Manfred cited “thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others” for informing this decision.
While the Atlanta Braves issued a statement in opposition to the decision, one of MLB’s owners came out in support of moving the game. LeBron James, who recently upped his stake in Fenway Sports Group and is expected to “weigh in” on matters related to the Boston Red Sox (along with the Group’s soccer team, English giants Liverpool), expressed his pride in being “part of the MLB family” following the league bringing these two events to a new home.
James also retweeted an ad from his voting rights organization, More Than A Vote, which debuted during the NBA All-Star Game.
Over #NBAAllStar in Atlanta, we called on lawmakers to drop their voter suppression bill. They didn’t.
Now, @MLB has decided to move their All-Star Game from Atlanta.
All the states still considering voter suppression bills should take note:
Actions have consequences. pic.twitter.com/b8DzPu97NQ
— More Than A Vote (@morethanavote) April 2, 2021
James was vocal about the role Georgia would play in determining the balance of power in the United States Senate ahead of January’s special elections for both seats. Ultimately, a pair of Democrats, Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, won them, giving the party control of the Senate for at least the next two years. He also made it a point to praise the efforts of individuals like Stacey Abrams in mobilizing voters in November’s election, which made the aforementioned Senate run-offs possible and led to Joe Biden becoming the first Democrat to win in the state since 1992.