The American Conservative Union is calling on Major League Baseball to return the All-Star Game to Atlanta after moving it from Georgia due to the state’s new voting law, saying its decision threatens “the future” of baseball.
The organization, led by Matt Schlapp, penned a letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred this week after MLB moved the All-Star Game amid scrutiny of Georgia’s new election law, which critics say will make it more difficult for minorities to vote.
“75M conservatives got left on base when baseball went broke for wokeism,” Schlapp tweeted, sharing a link to the letter. “We’re demanding that @MLBcorrect the lies about conservative election reform and to return the All-Star Game back to Atlanta.”
In the letter, the ACU said MLB has “played into” the hands of “radicals.”
“Throughout our nation’s history, there have been some who have sought to end the American experiment in democratic self-government. Whether motivated by socialist, fascist or other illiberal authoritarian impulses, these radicals despise the virtues upon which free people can live in harmony,” the ACU wrote. “And you have played into their hands.”
“Your comments regarding the improvements to the Georgia election law are baseless and contrary to reality. Worse, your misguided comments and actions have harmed the good people of Atlanta, especially the African American community,” the ACU continued, urging MLB to “publicly correct the record on Georgia’s election reform law.”
The ACU went on to say it is “important” that MLB “not stay silent since you contributed to the deeply flawed and misleading perceptions about the contents of the bill,” claiming the league did not read the actual legislation before making its public comments.
“MLB’s recent public condemnation of a law it did not understand, and the resulting harm to the city of Atlanta, reveal the dangers associated with exercising your authority in an attempt to appease the Left,” the ACU continued.
“Your virtue signaling has robbed the people of Georgia of $100 million, especially impacting minority businesses that benefit from MLB’s presence in Atlanta,” the organization wrote. “The appetite of radicals is insatiable, and their ultimate target is the destruction of our nation’s freedoms.”
The ACU added that “the record must be corrected” and urged MLB to “publicly acknowledge the mistaken assumptions and brazen mistruths propagated by your organization against Georgia’s election reform law.”
“We ask that you meet with us to discuss this matter,” the ACU wrote. “To continue pushing unpopular policies that harm future elections will only threaten the very future of Major League Baseball.”
MLB moved the All-Star Game out of Atlanta to Denver after Georgia enacted sweeping election reform last month.
Manfred made the announcement just one day after the 2021 season began, following mounting pressure from critics of the legislation to move the game as well as the MLB’s amateur draft.
“Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and the Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views,” Manfred said earlier this month. “I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.”
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” he continued. “Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.”
President Biden, earlier this month, said in an interview with ESPN that he would “strongly support” the July 13 All-Star Game being relocated in response to the law that he called “Jim Crow on steroids.”
The new law requires voter ID for absentee voting rather than relying on signature matching for verification, limited ballot drop boxes to one per county or one per 100,000 voters, expanded early voting days, and standardized early voting hours to a minimum of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and a maximum of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The legislation barred outside groups from passing out food and water to those in line within 150 feet.
The law also handed more election authority to the GOP-controlled state legislature. It states that the General Assembly is to select the chair of the state elections board, rather than the board being chaired by the Georgia secretary of state. It also shortens runoffs from nine weeks to four.
The state election board can also now investigate county election boards and has the power to suspend county election superintendents — though the board can only suspend four at a time.
The law was enacted after a Democratic sweep in the Peach State, which then-President Trump lost to Biden by just over 11,000 votes. Trump alleged mass election fraud in the state and sparred with GOP Gov. Brian Kemp and Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s handling of elections. Nine weeks after the November election, Republican incumbent Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler lost to Democrats John Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.