Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp took a swing at Major League Baseball Saturday for moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta in response to the state’s contentious new voting law, calling it a “cancel culture” move that reflected the league bowing to a left-wing narrative.
“We shouldn’t apologize for making it easier to vote and hard to cheat,” the Republican governor said at a press conference in Georgia’s Capitol. If the controversial law made voting harder, he said, “then maybe there’s an argument for boycotts and moving All-Star Games. But that’s not what happened.”
He suggested Major League Baseball should move its headquarters out of Manhattan, maintaining that Georgia’s voting laws are less restrictive than New York’s.
The losers in this controversy will be the workers at various Atlanta businesses that would have earned money while the multi-day festivities took place, Kemp said. He claimed Major League Baseball “ignored the consequences of their decision on our local community” and put the left’s political agenda “ahead of the economic well being of hard-working Georgians who were counting on the All-Star Game for a paycheck.”
His words echoed a statement released by the Atlanta Braves on Friday night, which said “Unfortunately, businesses, employees, and fans in Georgia are the victims of this decision.”
Kemp vowed to defend the law and said he would not back down from the fight, which he characterized as part of a national shift. “Cancel culture and partisan actions are coming for your business,” he warned. “They’re coming for your game or your event in your hometown.”
He called out two major Atlanta-based businesses, Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines, for their criticisms of the law as well, claiming their objections weren’t voiced during the months of negotiations on the bill.
Kemp was joined by Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, also a Republican, who offered a vehement defense of the law, suggesting that criticism comparing it to racist Jim Crow laws “preposterous and fundamentally wrong.”
He accused recently elected Sens. Ralph Warnock and Jon Ossoff, President Biden and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams for misleading the public about the law.
“Every time Stacey goes on a late night talk show, does a friendly podcast or goes on MSNBC, everything she says is accepted as fact,” Carr said. “It’s not healing our nation, but further dividing us and causing real harm to real Georgia.”
Carr said he would defend legal challenges to the bill, and that in court, “the ‘Stacey Says’ standard will not apply.”
While Kemp was speaking, former President Barack Obama tweeted support for the decision. “Congratulations to @MLB for taking a stand on behalf of voting rights for all citizens. There’s no better way for America’s pastime to honor the great Hank Aaron, who always led by example.”
Atlanta Braves legend Aaron, who died in January, will be honored at the All-Star Game. The league hasn’t yet named a new location for the Mid-Summer Classic, which is scheduled for July 13. Milwaukee, where Aaron started and ended his career, pitched itself as an alternative on Friday.