A business advocacy organization is suing Major League Baseball (MLB), the player’s union, union executive director Tony Clark, and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred for yanking its 2021 All-Star Game out of Georgia due to the state passing a law to ensure election security.
The Job Creators Network filed suit Monday in a federal New York City court seeking $100 million in damages, the amount estimated to have cost local businesses in revenue. The league caved after President Joe Biden endorsed the decision, calling the Georgia bill “Jim Crow in the 21st century.” The law mandates voter identification for absentee ballots, among other provisions.
“MLB robbed the small businesses of Atlanta – many of them minority-owned – of $100 million, we want the game back where it belongs. This was a knee-jerk, hypocritical, and illegal reaction to misinformation about Georgia’s new voting law which includes Voter-ID,” Job Creators Network President Alfredo Ortiz said. “Major League Baseball itself requests ID at will-call ticket windows at Yankee Stadium in New York, Busch Stadium in St. Louis, and at ballparks all across the country.”
Two hundred companies penned a letter in April in opposition to the bill. On April 2, Manfred announced the All-Star Game would move out of Georgia. The commissioner claimed it was “the best way to demonstrate [the league’s] values.”
Shortly after the MLB’s actions, a Democrat-majority county in Georgia said that $100 million was the “estimated lost economic impact.” The Atlanta Braves baseball team condemned Manfred’s decision.
“Small businesses in this community had valid contracts relating to the All-Star Game and other events, the result of two years of planning and all that was ripped away by fear and misinformation spewed by political activists,” Ortiz continued. “Many states, including Colorado where the game has been moved, have similar or more restrictive election laws. This move essentially tells fans of teams in many other cities that they can never again host the All-Star Game; it’s hypocritical, illegal, and we won’t stand for it.”