Republicans will run ads on Tuesday that paint Democrats as the bad guy over the Major League Baseball’s decision to move its All-Star game out of Atlanta in response to Georgia’s restrictive voting law.
“This was supposed to be Atlanta’s night, but we were robbed,” Melvin Everson, a former Republican state lawmaker, says in an ad the Republican National Committee will air during the game.
In addition to the RNC, the National Republican Senatorial Committee will air an ad in Georgia during the All-Star game that targets Sen. Raphael Warnock (R-GA), who won a special runoff in January that helped Democrats take the majority in the Senate.
“The MLB All-Star Game will be bittersweet for baseball fans in Georgia as they watch a game played in a packed stadium in Denver instead of Atlanta, where it should be. Sadly, it was their very own Senator who helped run the All-Star Game and $100 million out of Atlanta,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who serves as NRSC chair, said in a statement.
Last April, MLB commissioner Robert Manfred Jr. announced that the All-Star Game would no longer take place in Atlanta following Georgia’s enactment of a new restrictive voter law. Restrictive provisions of the new Georgia voting law include new ID requirements for mail voting, limits on dropbox use and banning the distribution of food and most beverages to voters waiting in line.
The MLB decided to move its All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver in response to the Georgia voter law.
Republicans were quick to pan the MLB’s decision as a symptom of “cancel culture.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) accused the MLB of submitting to “fear and lies” by depriving Georgians of a paycheck after it decided to pull its All-Star Game out of Atlanta.
“Major League Baseball caved to fear and lies from liberal activists,” Kemp said at a news conference in response to the MLB’s decision. “In the middle of a pandemic, Major League Baseball put the wishes of Stacey Abrams and Joe Biden ahead of the economic well-being of hard-working Georgians who were counting on the All-Star Game for a paycheck.”
Republicans also demanded boycotts of corporations that spoke out against Georgia GOP lawmakers’ restrictive voting law.
Shortly after the CEOs of Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines came out against the Georgia law, state Republicans voted to revoke a tax break from Delta and called for the removal of Coca-Cola products from the state house.
Last month, MLB dismissed a lawsuit waged by a conservative advocacy group over its decision to move its All-Star game out of Atlanta as “political theatrics.”
The Job Creators Network (JCN) asked a New York federal court judge to force the MLB to move its All-Star game back to Atlanta. JCN argued that the MLB should pay $100 million in damages to local businesses in Georgia in light of relocating its All-Star game to Denver. The lawsuit listed MLB, Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred, the MLB Players Association and MLBPA executive director Tony Clark as defendants.
MLB refused to play ball.
“JCN has been vocal in opposing MLB’s decision, but that does not give it a basis for federal civil rights claims,” lawyers for MLB wrote in a court filing. “Moreover, despite its claims of exigency, JCN spent the last two months putting up billboards in Times Square and running inflammatory advertisements in The New York Times. When its publicity campaign had no effect, JCN decided to sue, but this Court’s time should not be wasted on political theatrics.”