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MLB pulls 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta due to Georgia’s new restrictive voting law

The Battery is a lively venue featuring shops, bars and restaurants from local chefs at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves MLB team as the facility is currently closed while sports are on quarantine during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Atlanta, Georgia on April 18, 2020.

David J. Griffin | Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Major League Baseball commissioner Robert Manfred announced Friday that the 2021 All-Star Game will no longer be held in Atlanta.

The decision follows an election bill signed on Wednesday by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, which opponents say disproportionately disenfranchises people of color.

“Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views,” Manfred said. “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.”

Georgia’s new law adds guidelines around mail-in ballots, voter registration and provides state officials more authority around how elections are operated.

“Just as elections have consequences, so do the actions of those who are elected,” Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said on Twitter of MLB’s decision. “Unfortunately, the removal of the @MLB All Star game from GA is likely the 1st of many dominoes to fall, until the unnecessary barriers put in place to restrict access to the ballot box are removed.”

Business executives across the United States this week denounced the law, which critics say will suppress votes, especially among people of color in underserved areas.

“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” Manfred said. “In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.”

Manfred said MLB will honor commitments to support local communities in Atlanta. The league is still finalizing a new host city and “details about these events will be announced shortly,” he said.

CNBC’s Jabari Young contributed to this report.