President Joe Biden added his voice this week to the growing chorus of support for calls urging Major League Baseball to relocate this year’s All-Star Game out of Georgia in protest of that state’s recently enacted election reform law.
According to Breitbart, however, Georgia election official Gabe Sterling blasted the move as a form of “economic blackmail” being advanced by the commander-in-chief.
“It’s a lie”
Sterling issued his scathing response during an interview with The Dispatch on Friday. “I think it’s morally reprehensible and disgusting that [Biden is] perpetuating economic blackmail over a lie,” he said.
Sterling went on: “It’s a lie. This is no different than the lie of Trump saying there was voter fraud in this state. And the people who are going to be most hurt by [a boycott] are the workers in all of these places that are going to be impacted.”
The current controversy stems from an election-related bill signed into law last week by Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
These new measures came in response to issues related to November’s presidential election results and include a shortened runoff election cycle, new identification requirements for absentee voters, as well as other regulations that supporters believe will strengthen the election integrity.
Most Democrats, however, argue that the effort is tantamount to a Republican-backed plan to suppress the vote — particularly among minority Georgians. Biden, for his part, has been an outspoken opponent of the law, even going so far as to call it “Jim Crow on steroids.”
Multiple businesses and events based in the state have been targeted with boycotts or increased pressure to relocate in the wake of the new law’s passing. During an ESPN interview on Wednesday, the president endorsed calls for the MLB to move its upcoming game away from Atlanta.
“I think today’s professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly,” Biden said. “I would strongly support them doing that. People look to them. They’re leaders.”
He went on to mention other leagues, including the NBA, in asserting that the “very people who are victimized the most are the people who are the leaders in these various sports,” adding that “it’s just not right.”
Two days later, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced his decision to move the All-Star Game.
“I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft,” he wrote, according to Breitbart.