In a remarkable short-notice decision, the MLB has decided to relocate its famed yearly All-Star game from its planned home in Atlanta for the 2021 season. The move, spurred by a moral decision on the league's part, is unprecedented and has understandably produced some confusion among baseball fans nationwide.
So, what is the new location of the 2021 MLB All-Star game, and why did the league decide to relocate it to begin with? Here's what we know about the situation.
The MLB is yet to decide on a new location for its All-Star game.
Although the 2021 All-Star game will not take place in Atlanta, it's unclear where the game's new home will be. Commissioner Rob Manfred explained that the decision to relocate from Atlanta was final, but the new stadium was still to be determined. "We are finalizing a new host city, and details about these events will be announced shortly," he added. Once concrete details emerge of the new host city, we'll be sure to provide updates.
Although the All-Star game will be held somewhere other than Atlanta, the league hasn't forgotten the town's late baseball hero, Hank Aaron. The 2021 Midsummer Classic — which is tentatively scheduled for July 13, 2021 — will still be dedicated to his memory.
Why did the MLB move the All-Star game? It had to do with discriminatory voting laws.
The decision to move the All-Star game was a response to a recent controversial law enacted in Georgia that some say limits voting rights for citizens. President Joe Biden has criticized the decision to pass these measures in the state, and now the repercussions are extending beyond the political sphere.
The league's commissioner detailed in his aforementioned statement why the decision was made to move the game. He and other top figures in the organization figured that "the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport" was to vacate the city after the voting law changes.
"Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box," he said. “In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process."
Commissioner Manfred continued to add that "Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support." His decision was met with plenty of support from powerful figures across professional sports, many of whom have spoken out about social justice initiatives on their own time as well.
One individual to commend the move was NBA legend and partial Los Angeles Dodgers owner Magic Johnson. The star tweeted, "I want to applaud and extend a thank you to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred for moving the All-Star Game out of Georgia following the Governor’s signing of the new restrictive voting law. Way to be a leader and take a strong stance!"
Although some Georgia residents might be upset by the move, it's clear the cause has the attention of some big names. There may be further repercussions, as well. For now, Georgia definitely remains on our minds!