Bowles: MLB makes the right call by moving All-Star Game from Georgia

Recent+laws+passed+in+Georgia+make+it+illegal+to+give+food+and+water+to+voters+waiting+in+line%2C+among+other+stipulations.

Terri Sewell, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Recent laws passed in Georgia make it illegal to give food and water to voters waiting in line, among other stipulations.

By Luke Bowles, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science

Georgia governor Brian Kemp and well-known Republicans such as Donald Trump have already begun criticizing Major League Baseball (MLB) after their decision to move their All-Star game out of the state due to pressure from fans about the new voting law passed in the state.

But, what does the bill even do?

The bill limited early and absentee voting, increased ID requirements and even made it a crime to give voters food and drinks while waiting in line.

Therefore, it seems rather obvious that the MLB is justified in moving the game. I mean, seriously, a bill that literally makes it a crime to give water to people waiting in line. Seriously?

Additionally, it seems obvious that this bill comes in response to President Joe Biden’s electoral victory in Georgia helping him secure his 2020 election victory.

Poverty is also extremely relevant to this issue. Why? Well, several groups are more likely to be impoverished than the average citizen, including African-Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics and women. All four groups heavily favored Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

It’s clear that the Republican-majority Georgia legislature as well as Republican Governor Brian Kemp are trying to suppress voting rights for those likely to vote against them or those in the same party as them. How convenient. 

Georgia also has one of the highest poverty rates in the country at 16.9%. Impoverished people are most likely to work minimum wage service jobs, and many cannot afford to take time off in fear of losing wages. 

So guess who is impacted most by restrictions on early voting? Guess who is less likely to vote if they cannot even be given water while waiting in line? All the groups more likely to favor Democrats. Again, how convenient. 

The MLB had every reason to move the game, and I’m glad they did so. No major corporation should support such an attack on our democratic system, and anyone who just complains that “We need to keep politics out of sports” is actively ignoring voter suppression in Georgia. 

MLB commissioner Paul Manfred recently said in a statement, “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box. Fair access to voting continues to have our unwavering support.”

It honestly baffles me that so many people are upset with a private company for making their own decision to move a game and stating that they support voting rights. How is that controversial? Why should it ever be controversial to support equal voting rights?

Governor Brian Kemp has attacked democracy, and now his state is losing money. It seems he simply got what was coming to him. That’s what happens when you try to implement voter suppression in a country no longer willing to support modern day discrimination. Good job, MLB. Good job. 

This story was originally published on The Vision MSMS on April 7, 2021.