Major League Baseball (MLB) commissioner Robert Manfred decided to move the All-Star Game on his own after holding extensive discussions with voting rights groups associated with Lebron James, Stacey Abrams and Rev. Al Sharpton, sources familiar with the move tell Fox News.
Abrams and Sharpton told the commissioner players would boycott the game if not. Sources say that Abrams’ current stance, that she is disappointed about the Georgia boycott, is suspect as she was a key player in the decision. James has publicly supported the Georgia boycott.
Abrams’ group and Sharpton also urged the commissioner to support other issues, including voter drives and H.R. 1, the For the People Act — sweeping election reform that recently passed the House.
Manfred decided the easiest way to deal with the matter was to leave Georgia, according to a source.
After Manfred made the decision, he told the eight-member executive committee before making the announcement, which surprised the 22 other teams. Manfred said the decision was made after discussions with the MLB Players Association and its Players Alliance.
The game will now be held in Colorado.
“Disappointed @MLB will move the All-Star Game, but proud of their stance on voting rights. GA GOP traded economic opportunity for suppression,” Abrams wrote on Twitter last week after the move was announced. “On behalf of PoC targeted by #SB202 to lose votes + now wages, I urge events & productions to come & speak out or stay & fight. #gapol”
She later released another statement. “Like many Georgians, I am disappointed that the MLB is moving its All-Star Game; however, I commend the players, owners and League Commissioner for speaking out,” she wrote. “As I have stated, I respect boycotts, although I don’t want to see Georgia families hurt by lost events and jobs. Georgians targeted by voter suppression will be hurt as opportunities go to other states.”
Abrams could not immediately be reached for comment on her involvement in the decision.
Georgia lawmakers passed the “Election Integrity Act of 2021” in a party-line vote last month following a contentious 2020 election cycle. The bill included restrictions on absentee and mail-in voting, increased legislative oversight of state elections, additional voter ID requirements and restrictions on non-poll workers providing food and drink to voters waiting in line at polling centers.
Republican supporters, including Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, touted the legislation as essential to ensuring the integrity of state elections.