Just in time for MLB's opening day, President Joe Biden weighed in on whether this year's All-Star game should take place in Atlanta, in light of Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) signing into law election reform legislation. The decision to host the 2021 All-Star game on July 13, at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, was made years prior.
In a Wednesday interview with ESPN, the president took the opportunity to pat himself on the back for his vaccine rollout, when discussing the 2021 season of baseball, which, unlike last season, is starting on time. He also told viewers that "you have a patriotic duty" to wear a mask so as to "protect the people around you."
Throughout the nearly 12-minute interview, President Biden emphasized the idea that Americans need to wear a mask, or else. This involved hitting back on governors who have rescinded their mask mandates.
Towards the latter half of the interview, ESPN's Sage Steele pointed out that "sports and politics cross paths sometimes," as a way to bring up the Georgia law signed by Gov. Kemp, which she offered "is exactly what happened last week in major league baseball."
Steele quoted MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark, who said he would "look forward to discussing moving the All-Star game out of Atlanta, because Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a bill passed by the Republican-led state legislature to overhaul how its state elections are run." She went on to ask President Biden "What do you think about the possibility that baseball decides to move their All-Star game out of Atlanta because this political issue?"
The president said he "would strongly support them doing that" and called Georgia's legislation "Jim Crow on steroids" and said it's "all about keeping working folks and ordinary folks that I grew up with from being able to vote."
In last week's press conference, President Biden said the not-yet-signed legislation "makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle."
Claims that this legislation amounts to voter suppression are widespread, numerous, and misleading, least of all coming from Stacey Abrams--who lost to Gov. Brian Kemp in the 2018 race and Elizabeth Warren, both who maintain that Abrams won the election.
The Republican who is sitting in Stacey Abrams’ chair just signed a despicable voter suppression bill into law to take Georgia back to Jim Crow. The Senate must pass the #ForThePeople Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Act immediately – our democracy is at stake tonight. https://t.co/xDolZO9Bf3— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) March 26, 2021
Corporations are against the legislation, too, including Delta. The airline said that the legislation is "unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values." Such comments drew ire from both Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who, as Cortney pointed out, opined on the "woke corporate hypocrites" via multiple tweets and a press release, and from Gov. Kemp, as Reagan covered.
Dear @Delta:— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) April 1, 2021
You are business partners with the Communist Party of #China
When can we expect your letter saying that their ongoing genocide in #Xinjiang is "unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values"??? #WokeCorporateHypocrites
"We're not going to back down when we have a bill that expands the opportunity for people to vote on the weekends in Georgia." @GovKemp defends Georgia's new voting law @BillHemmer @DanaPerino pic.twitter.com/IaWEgYgI9N— America's Newsroom (@AmericaNewsroom) April 1, 2021
Fortunately, Republicans are intervening to protect these laws, as Cortney reported on, citing RNC Chairwoman Rona McDaniel and NRSC Chairman Sen. Rick Scott, of Florida. Even the Washington Post's fact-checker, Guy pointed out, gave President Biden's claim that the new law "ends voting hours early," four pinocchios, which is the worst rating a claim can get, if you don't count the "Bottomless Pinocchio" rating.
As the fact-check in part read, with added emphasis:
One could understand a flub in a news conference. But then this same claim popped up in an official presidential statement. Not a single expert we consulted who has studied the law understood why Biden made this claim, as this was the section of law that expanded early voting for many Georgians.
Somehow Biden managed to turn that expansion into a restriction aimed at working people, calling it “among the outrageous parts” of the law. There’s no evidence that is the case. The president earns Four Pinocchios.
Should MLB cave and move the All-Star game, one will be hard-pressed to find a greater example of ignorant cancel culture and "woke corporate hypocrites" meddling in what is grossly misunderstood and misrepresented..