On April 2, the MLB announced that it would be relocating its All-Star game on July 13 from Atlanta to Denver in response to a controversial voting bill that was passed in Georgia.
I don’t think they made the right choice at all.
According to the MLB, the new voting bill is restrictive and racist. That’s what the left is saying about the new bill—that it disproportionately affects POC and lower-income communities.
If that is the case—which I don’t believe it is—then why would you take the MLB All-Star game out of Atlanta, a predominantly black city, and place it in Denver, a predominantly white city.
The game could’ve potentially brought in around $100 million for Atlanta’s economy; some analysts believe that number is “wishful thinking,” but still, the game would’ve greatly benefitted the city of Atlanta. Taking the game out of Atlanta is no less harmful and cruel than the MLB suggests the new voting bill is.
The MLB is basically saying: “Hey, POC and lower-income communities of Georgia, your governor has passed a new bill which will restrict you from voting because you are poor, black and don’t know how to gain a photo ID. Oh, and by the way, those of you who were going to attend the All-Star game in Atlanta or, more importantly, found employment opportunities from the game being hosted in Atlanta, well, we’re actually taking that from you too.”
Taking the game out of Atlanta simply can’t convey the message that the MLB hopes it will.
If they believe that POC are being hurt by the new bill, then what sense does it make to hurt them even further?
The new voting bill is not a “war on voting rights” like some would suggest.
Anyone that is serious about going to vote and be heard can still do that. To compare a bill that aims to make voting more secure to what voting was like for black people during the Jim Crow era is misguided and morally irresponsible.
During Jim Crow, blacks—and even poor whites—were subject to literacy tests, poll taxes and things like “whites only” democratic primaries. The Ku Klux Klan and explicitly racist police intimidated eligible black voters and enforced these racist laws.
How can anyone possibly believe that Georgia is reverting back to that by requiring voter ID, restricting poll workers from interacting with people in line to vote and mandating an extra Saturday of early voting?
Studies have shown that requiring voter ID does not affect voter turnout that much at all. That is probably because most people understand that voting is a very serious issue, and a form of identification proving that they are who they say they are is a perfectly reasonable requirement at the ballot box.
Furthermore, 63% of black respondents to a poll conducted by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution say that they support the photo-ID requirement for voting.
I’m confused as to why democratic politicians are crying out for the rescuing of black Georgians’ voting rights when those same black Georgians are in support of what the bill is pushing.
Those who oppose the bill also take issue with voters being asked to put their driver’s license number or part of their SSN on the envelope that they mail their vote in with. This new measure is much more secure than signature verification and would likely lead to less ballots being wrongly rejected.
This new requirement is completely reasonable to begin with, but according to the AJC poll, 70% of black voters say they voted in person in 2020 anyway.
The majority of black voters aren’t concerned with these new voting measures because the measures aren’t changing the way they were already voting.
The MLB really messed up here.
The Atlanta Braves even explained how they were excited to host the game and use it as a platform to send a message about how they value equality in voting for all people.
That would’ve been so much more effective in fighting back against this “racist” new voting bill.
Now, Atlanta will be a little less lively than it had planned to be on July 13, but Kemp’s new voting bill will still be alive and well.
Written by Zach Edmondson, sports editor. Graphic courtesy of Gracie Lucas, digital content editor.