In a SportsCenter interview with ESPN’s Sage Steele, President Joe Biden said he would “strongly support” moving this year’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game out of Atlanta, because of Georgia’s new voting law that critics say may suppress turnout at the ballot box.
“Sports and politics cross paths sometimes. That’s exactly what happened last week in MLB Baseball. Tony Clark is the Executive Director of the MLB Player’s Association. He said that he would, ‘look forward to discuss moving the All-Star game out of Atlanta, because Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into a law a bill passed by the Republican State legislature to overhaul how its state elections are run.’ So, Mr. President, what do you think about the possibility that baseball decides to move their All-Star Game out of Atlanta, because of this political issue?” Steele asked, during the interview.
While replying, Biden linked leadership with athleticism.
“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.”
Biden also called new law in Georgia and 40 other states “Jim Crow on steroids.”
“Imagine passing a law saying you cannot provide water or food for someone standing in a line to vote. You can’t do that? Come on. Or you’re going to close a polling place at five o’clock, when working people just get off? This is all about keeping working folks, and ordinary folks that I grew up with, from being able to vote,” Biden said.
Steele remarked that if a decision is made to move the All-Star Game, it would not be the first time a game was moved in professional sports for political reasons. In 2017, the NBA-All Star Game was moved out of Charlotte over North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill.” The game was played there in 2019.