Major League Baseball is scheduled to play its 2021 All-Star Game this summer at Truist Park, located in Atlanta, Georgia. Yet in the lead up to Opening Day, the MLB Players Association appears open to discussing whether or not the event should be relocated in response to recent legislative developments in the state.
MLB Players Association director Tony Clark told the Boston Globe that the union body is "very much aware" of the bill signed by Georgia governor Brian Kemp recently that overhauled the state's election laws. The bill includes "new restrictions on voting by mail and gives the legislature greater control over how elections are run," according to CBS News. It has been opposed by both Democrats and voting rights groups who believe the law will "disproportionately disenfranchise voters of color."
Clark told the Globe that "we have not had a conversation with the league on that issue" before adding that "if there is an opportunity to, we would look forward to having that conversation."
President Joe Biden offered his support to the MLB Players Association ahead of Opening Day. "I think today's professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly," he said during an interview on ESPN. "I would strongly support them doing that. People look to them. They're leaders."
Should MLB relocate the event, it would mimic how the National Basketball Association moved its own All-Star Game from Charlotte, North Carolina in 2017. The NBA did so in response to laws that discriminated against the LGBTQIA+ community. At the time, the NBA issued a statement that said, among other things: "While we recognize that the NBA cannot choose the law in every city, state, and country in which we do business, we do not believe we can successfully host our All-Star festivities in Charlotte in the climate created by HB2."
If the All-Star Game is modified, it will mark the second consecutive to be altered. Last summer's Midsummer Classic was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who were supposed to host, were instead awarded the 2022 game.
MLB's All-Star Game is scheduled to be played on July 13.