USA Today retroactively edited an op-ed from Stacey Abrams this month that initially endorsed corporate boycotts of Georgia over its new law on election integrity before pulling back her advocacy after boycotts were triggered.
The piece was first published on March 31, days before Major League Baseball (MLB) pulled its lucrative All-Star game worth $100 million in local revenue. Abrams’ original version of the op-ed called for corporations to pull their business from the state as an “impassioned response.”
“The impassioned response to the racist, classist bill that is now the law of Georgia is to boycott in order to achieve change,” Abrams first wrote, vilifying the law requiring identification for access to the ballot box as racist, as if the leftist idea that minorities are unable to obtain ID was not racist itself.
“Events hosted by major league baseball, world class soccer, college sports and dozens of Hollywood films hang in the balance… Until we hear clear unequivocal statements that show Georgia-based companies get what’s at stake, I can’t argue with an individual’s choice to opt for their competition.”
An updated version of the op-ed, however, as first reported by Fox News, tampers down Abrams’ advocacy for boycotts once they began to be implemented by the MLB and others to the detriment of Georgia residents. The MLB all-star game will now be held in Denver, with a population where less than 10 percent are black, as opposed to Atlanta, a majority-black city, according to U.S. Census data.
Gone from Abrams’ USA Today op-ed currently posted is the line, “I can’t argue with an individual’s choice to opt for their competition.” The passage below is now what reads on the site:
The impassioned (and understandable) response to the racist, classist bill that is now the law of Georgia is to boycott in order to achieve change. Events that can bring millions of dollars to struggling families hang in the balance. Major League Baseball pulled both its All-Star Game and its draft from Georgia, which could cost out state nearly $100 million in lost revenue.
Fox News reported the update came on April 6. The latest update on the article reads April 22, and an editor’s note now reads, “This column was originally published before the MLB moved the All-Star game out of Atlanta. It was updated after that decision.”
When reached for comment, Gannett, USA Today’s parent company, declined to respond to a Federalist inquiry into why the paper made the decision to transform the piece after corporations heeded Abrams’ calls, and instead issued a statement on the apparent absence of the editor’s note clarifying changes had occurred.
“We regret the oversight in updating the Stacey Abrams column. As soon as we recognized there was no editor’s note, we added it to the page to reflect her changes. We have reviewed our procedures to ensure this does not occur again,” a Gannett spokesperson wrote in an email to The Federalist.
PolitiFact cited the revised version of Abrams’ USA Today op-ed to fact-check claims Abrams ever endorsed corporate boycotts over the Georgia law.