A right-wing advocacy group has sued MLB, commissioner Rob Manfred and the MLBPA seeking the return of the All-Star Game to Georgia and $100 million in damages for local businesses.
Job Creators Network filed the suit in a federal court in New York on Monday that also seeks $1 billion in punitive damages. MLB and MLBPA headquarters are located in New York.
“MLB robbed the small businesses of Atlanta — many of them minority-owned — of $100 million, we want the game back where it belongs,” JCN president and CEO Alfredo Ortiz said in a statement, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
JCN was established by Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, a prominent supporter of former President Donald Trump.
MLB moved game amid corporate pressure from Georgia businesses
MLB moved the All-Star game from the Atlanta area to Denver in response to Georgia's SB 202 that Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law in March. It made the decision amid blowback against the restrictive voting law that also included criticism from Georgia-based businesses Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines.
Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian blasted the law as “unacceptable” and “based on a lie” of widespread voter fraud touted by Trump and some Republicans in U.S. Congress.
What the law does
The law limits the number of drop boxes across the state, increases voter ID requirements and gives state-level officials in Republican-controlled Georgia power over county election boards that oversee ballot counts. The law passed after voters in Georgia elected Democratic U.S. Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff and cast the state's electoral college ballots for Joe Biden in last November's presidential election.
MLB and the MLBPA have not publicly responded to Monday's lawsuit. When MLB announced its decision to move the All-Star game out of Georgia, Manfred touted the move as support of voting rights for all Americans.
“I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star game,” Manfred said in April. “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”
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