Major League Baseball announced on April 2 to move the 2021 All-Star Game and Draft out of Atlanta after the passing of Georgia’s new voting bill, Senate Bill 202.
Components of the new bill include photo ID requirements for voting absentee by mail and less time to apply for mail-in ballots.
The Red & Black asked University of Georgia students their opinions on MLB’s decision to move the game out of Atlanta, how they think it will affect the Atlanta Braves and the potential backlash the MLB would have received if the game had stayed.
DeAnthony Moore, a junior journalism major, said he agreed with the league moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta.
“For the simple fact that since last year, the MLB tried to be more about inclusion,” Moore said. “So, for them to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta because of the new Georgia voting bill is showing that America is moving in the right direction.”
Moore also said he thinks both the Braves and MLB would have received backlash had it decided to keep the All-Star Game in Atlanta. He said if MLB had received backlash, a number of other events and industries in Atlanta should be facing backlash as well.
Alex English, a senior journalism major at UGA, agreed with Moore.
“I agree with the fact that they’re trying to move this so we can get changes to the voter suppression here in Georgia,” English said. “I think it was the right call but there is always more that can be done.”
English said he thought MLB did the best with what it had. For a large sports organization, this is a huge step in the right direction, he said.
However, approval of MLB’s decision isn’t universally accepted. Addy Cullum, a junior economics major, said she disagreed with MLB’s decision.
“I understand the message behind it, but I don’t really feel that taking away the whole [MLB] draft and [All-Star Game] from Atlanta was the best response to it,” Cullum said.
Cullum also said that had the game stayed in Atlanta, MLB may have not received as much backlash.
“If they would have just let it be, I don't think anyone would have thought too much about it,” Cullum said. “But obviously with the amount of coverage it had, I feel people are looking at it differently than they would have.”
When Moore, English and Cullum were asked if they thought the MLB’s decision would affect the Braves and the Atlanta economy, they all agreed it would have an effect in some way.
MLB announced on April 6 that the All-Star Game will be hosted by the Colorado Rockies in Denver, Colorado. This is the first time the game will be back in Coors Field since 1998. The game is currently scheduled for July 13.