Major League Baseball was sued earlier this week over the relocation of the All-Star Game from Atlanta to Colorado, with the plaitiffs pursuing a $1.1 billion judgement. The Job Creators Network, a conservative group, brought the lawsuit, naming MLB and the MLB Players Association over their decision to move the game out of Georgia following the passage of a controversial law regarding voting.
According to the lawsuit, the league “purposefully and maliciously” punished small business owners when it moved the game from suburban Atlanta. It argues that such a move violates a federal civil rights law that has been in place for 150 years and was originally put in place as a method of defending against actions taken by the Ku Klux Klan.
“This wasa knee-jerk, hypocritical and illegal reaction to misinformation about Georgia’s new voting law,” says Alfredo Ortiz, president of the Job Creator’s Network.
His organization argues that the losses from the move are “staggering” and include more than 8,000 cancelled hotel reservations, as well as enormous losses to businesses that would be impacted by the influx of visitors to the city for the multi-day affair. The lawsuit seeks $100 million in damages for impacted businesses, plus $1 billion in punitive damages.
MLB made the decision to move the All-Star Game out of Georgia in April following the passage of a law implementing a number of new restrictions and rules around voting. Republicans and their supporters argue that the rules are fair and bring improved security to the system, but critics argue that provisions in the law are meant to suppress the ability to vote among racial minorities and urban residents, who tend to vote for Democrats.
At the time of the decision to relocate the game, President Joe Biden said he was pleased to see businesses “speaking up about how these new Jim Crow laws are just antithetical to who we are,” but cautioned about potential unintended consequences of such actions. “When they in fact move out of Georgia, the people who need the help the most, the people making hourly wages sometimes get hurt the most,” he said.
The 91st All Star Game will be the first for the league since 2019, with the 2020 season delayed and shortened due to the coronavirus. Coors Field previously hosted the midsummer classic in 1998.