Conservatives are doubling down on their attacks against Democrats after Major League Baseball moved its All-Star Game from Atlanta in protest of Georgia’s new elections law, arguing “lies” about the content of the law led to the decision.
In the latest part of that effort, Greater Georgia, the voting organization recently founded by former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., is buying digital billboards near Truist Park, the Atlanta Braves’ home field where the 2021 All-Star game was originally scheduled.
The billboards feature images of Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., President Biden and prominent Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams. The billboards, images of which were first obtained by Fox News, read “MLB’s All-Star Strike Out Squad.”
Biden told ESPN he would “strongly support” players who wanted to move the All-Star game from Atlanta over the Georgia voting law. Democrats say the law suppresses votes but Republicans say it expands voting access and increases election security.
Warnock and Abrams opposed the MLB’s decision to take its All-Star game out of Atlanta and move it to Denver. But Loeffler said they contributed to the move with “inaccurate statements.”
“The MLB’s hypocritical boycott was driven by misinformation repeated by President Biden, whose home state has significantly greater voting restrictions. Fueling the divisive statements and inaccurate information were Stacey Abrams and Sen. Raphael Warnock,” Loeffler said in a statement on the billboards.
The law and its contents have been a point of heated debate in recent weeks. Democrats have compared it to racist Jim Crow laws, a characterization Republicans have loudly objected to.
“It is reassuring to see that for-profit operations and businesses are speaking up about how these new Jim Crow laws that are just antithetical to who we are,” Biden told reporters of the Georgia law earlier this month.
But Gabriel Sterling, the chief operating officer of the Georgia secretary of state’s office, responded that not only is Biden’s description of the law “misinformation” but that it could lead to violence.
“Though I have not received any threats yet, thankfully, that same foreboding is creeping up again as the president of the United States and others once again spread lies about what is going on in Georgia,” Sterling wrote in the Washington Post. “So I plead with the president once again: Someone is going to get hurt. Your words matter. The facts matter.”
The law’s provisions include a shift from signature-matching on mail ballots to voter ID, which includes non-photo ID options like a utility bill; legalized absentee ballot drop boxes with some limits; a shorter window to request absentee ballots; expanded early in-person voting; and shifted responsibility from the secretary of state to a “nonpartisan” appointee selected by the state legislature.
Georgia’s new law triggered a wave of condemnations from corporations, including some based in Georgia, including Delta and Coca-Cola. Those companies came under intense pressure from Democrats to weigh in on the issue.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian, for example, sent a notice to employees saying he wanted to “make it crystal clear that the final bill is unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values.”
A new poll from NPR, PBS NewsHour and Marist, meanwhile, reveals that most Americans would prefer if companies stayed out of politics. Asked if they support “companies using their public role, position, or events to influence political, cultural, or social change,” 57% of those surveyed said they opposed such efforts. Only 36% of people said they support companies entering the political sphere.
The numbers were similar when Americans were asked about whether professional sports teams should advocate for change, with 55% opposed and 40% in support.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.