President Joe Biden says he would “strongly support” Major League Baseball moving this year’s All-Star Game out of Atlanta.
His endorsement comes after Major League Baseball Players Association executive director Tony Clark said he hoped to discuss moving the All-Star Game from Truist Park in response to Georgia’s controversial new election law.
“I think today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly. I would strongly support them doing that,” Biden told ESPN, according to The Hill.
“The very people who are victimized the most are the people who are the leaders in these various sports. And it’s just not right,” Biden added. “This is Jim Crow on steroids … what they’re doing in Georgia.”
The new Georgia law signed by Gov. Brian Kemp introduces a photo ID requirement for voting absentee by mail, limits where drop boxes can be placed and when they can be accessed, and bans people from handing out food or water to voters waiting in line. Many have said that the law would target the Black residents in the state as well as other voters of color.
Clark told The Boston Globe he looked forward to having discussions about moving the All-Star Game should the opportunity arise.
“Players are very much aware,” he said of the Georgia voting bill and its tighter restrictions. “As it relates to the All-Star Game, we have not had a conversation with the league on that issue. If there is an opportunity to, we would look forward to having that conversation.”
On Wednesday, league commissioner Rob Manfred told The Associated Press that he and Clark had spoken about the idea but did not elaborate further.
“I am talking to various constituencies within the game and I’m just not going beyond that in terms of what I would consider or not consider,” Manfred said.
The PGA is also caught in the crossfire of Georgia’s new law. A leading Black civil rights group is calling for the PGA to pull the Master’s Tournament in the state in protest of the voting legislation. In a statement to CNN, the National Black Justice Coalition said the PGA needed to take action, adding that professional golfers should refuse to play in the state until the law is repealed.
“The PGA Tour and Masters Tournament have both made commitments to help diversify golf and address racial inequities in this country — and we expect them to not only speak out against Georgia’s new racist voter suppression law — but to also take action,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, the Women’s National Basketball Association has described the new law as “a direct attack on the historic turnout and participation by voters during the November and January elections” which were where “Georgians voted to elect the first Black and Jewish senators from Georgia.”