Former President Donald Trump on Friday called on Major League Baseball fans to boycott the organization over its decision to move the 2021 All-Star Game and 2021 draft out of Atlanta in response to a Georgia voting law that critics claim makes it more difficult for individuals, particularly black voters, to exercise their constitutional right to vote.
Trump accused MLB leadership of being “afraid of the Radical Left Democrats,” in a statement on Friday.
“Baseball is already losing tremendous numbers of fans,” Trump wrote, “and now they leave Atlanta with their All-Star Game because they are afraid of the Radical Left Democrats who do not want voter I.D., which is desperately needed, to have anything to do with our elections.
“Boycott baseball and all of the woke companies that are interfering with Free and Fair Elections,” he added. “Are you listening Coke, Delta, and all!”
Georgia governor Brian Kemp, a Republican, signed the bill into law last week. The legislation calls for changing the rules and processes for requesting an absentee ballot, including mandating that voters present valid forms of photo identification.
The measure also regulates the future use of drop boxes, which were implemented as a COVID innovation, and the early voting period for runoff elections and gives the state the authority to take over county elections or remove local elections officials.
The bill, which passed along party lines in both chambers of the state legislature, also prohibits items, including food and beverages, from being offered by outside groups to voters waiting in line to cast their ballots. It does allow for water stations to be set up for voters in line.
Proponents of the law deny accusations that it aims to suppress votes, pointing out that the legislation does not place new limits on voting hours and makes the state’s elections more secure without restricting voter access. It even expands weekend early voting.
Supporters have argued that the law has been misrepresented.
On Friday, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement that after “thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance” he had decided that the “best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.”
Manfred said MLB “fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”
During an appearance on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight on Friday, Kemp claimed that election laws in New York, where the league is headquartered, are “stricter” than those in the Peach State.
“When you look at New York’s voting laws, you have to have an excuse to vote absentee by-mail in New York. You do not in Georgia,” Kemp said.
The league’s decision came after President Joe Biden told ESPN on Wednesday that he would “strongly support” moving the July 13 game because of the law he described as “Jim Crow on steroids.”