MLB moving All-Star game to Denver in response to Georgia voter suppression
Free Press wire reports | 4/8/2021, 6 p.m.
Major League Baseball plans to relocate the All-Star Game to Coors Field in Denver after pulling this year’s Midsummer Classic from Atlanta over objections to sweeping changes to Georgia’s voting laws.
The Associated Press learned Monday night that the commissioner’s office was expected to declare Tuesday that the Colorado Rockies will host the game.
MLB pulled the July 13 game from Truist Park in Atlanta in response to Georgia voting rules that Republican Gov. Brian Kemp quickly signed into law March 25. Critics, including the CEOs of Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola, have condemned the changes as being too restrictive.
The Georgia law includes new limits on voting by mail and greater legislative control over how elections are run, amid a push in Republican-led states to reduce voting options after former president Donald Trump made baseless claims of widespread fraud in last year’s election.
The law also makes it a crime for anyone other than poll workers to distribute food or water to voters in line. Colorado has a Democratic governor, Jared Polis, and a Democratic-controlled legislature.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred made the decision to move the All-Star events and the amateur draft from Atlanta after discussions with individual players and the Players Alliance, an organization of Black players formed after the death of George Floyd last year, the commissioner said in a statement.
Gov. Kemp has vowed to defend the measure in the face of legal challenges by the NAACP and other groups. Other Republicans also have criticized MLB’s move. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott backed out of throwing the first pitch at the Texas Rangers’ home opener Monday and said the state would not seek to host the All-Star Game or any other special MLB events.
Coors Field last hosted the All-Star Game in 1998, the fourth season for the stadium and sixth for the Rockies franchise. It’s uncertain what kind of seating capacity there might be due to COVID-19 restrictions.