When Major League Baseball announced the removal of their All-Star Game from Atlanta, their statement directly referenced President Biden’s own statement Georgia’s voter ID law being ‘Jim Crow on steroids’. Thus sports becomes even more politicized.
But Major League Baseball, so eager as it has been to follow corporations such as Coca-Cola and Delta, so eager to signal to corporate America that it is ‘on the right side of history’, may not have thought this move through. By embracing a long laundry list of mostly proven false grievances from liberal activists — claims that were then laundered through cable and web/print media — the MLB finds itself embroiled in a row it should have nothing to do with concerning mail-in voting in Georgia, and now Colorado.
As reported widely, MLB has chosen Colorado as the new site for the All-Star Game. The trouble is, despite some exquisite mental gymnastics from media ‘fact-checkers’ who desperately want the facts to support the White House, it’s undeniable that Colorado has many of the same provisions as Georgia’s ‘SB-202’ law. That includes requiring a form of ID to register to vote in person or on an absentee ballot, laws against political groups handing out campaign materials, which includes gifting food and water to those waiting in line and even having two days less in person voting than Georgia (15 days in Colorado; 17 days in Georgia).
The ‘fact-checkers’ and the MLB have deftly deflected from this somewhat devastating point by saying ‘yeah but’. Colorado, they say, allows same-day voter registration and 100 percent mail-in voting. In the span of two days, we have gone from ‘Jim Crow on steroids’ to mail-in voting being the lynchpin of democracy. This line isn’t fooling anyone. The press, the White House and MLB want people to believe that their SB-202 hyperbole was prompted by the difference between a picture ID and say, a utility bill and mail-in voting. But Georgia in fact codified mail-in voting in their state with SB-202, when it was implemented by adding absentee drop boxes permanently.
Lead activist and media superstar Stacey Abrams expressed regret over the MLB’s decision to move a lucrative game in a state with a large African American population to one which is 86 percent white. As one Twitter user noted, this was comparable to Abrams attempting to pour a cup of water on a forest fire that she started. Her sentiment was echoed by freshman Sen. Raphael Warnock.
Another factor at work is the sheer popularity of SB-202. Per Morning Consult, the law labeled Jim Crow on steroids by our president and so widely derided by the media, journalists and celebrities has a +6 favorability rating nationally. Now, because of the embarrassing similarity between Georgia’s voting laws and Colorado’s, the argument has become ‘photo ID is Jim Crow’ or ‘fewer days of early voting is Jim Crow’.
This is Calvinball: a transparent attempt to cover a disastrous PR move by our confused old president, backed up by liberal activists and journalists who think their Twitter accounts reflect the national mood. Then there is Major League Baseball’s ratings, which reached an all-time pre-pandemic low in 2019. Cynics may simply point to this move by MLB as a way to drum up publicity as a way to get more woke fans to pay attention. Well, if that is true it doesn’t work: similar recent moves by the NBA and the NFL have resulted in fewer viewers, not more. The MLB has made a grave mistake. Perhaps our president, who not so long ago promised unity, should have hesitated before throwing yet more fuel on a moronic inferno.