A conservative group representing small businesses is taking Major League Baseball (MLB) to court after the league moved its All-Star game out of Atlanta, Georgia, over the state passing new voting law.
Job Creators Network (JCN), a conservative group founded by Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, sued MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) on Monday evening in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan on the basis the league damaged Atlanta's small business community.
According to Just the News, JCN stated MLB "violated the Klu Klux Klan Act of 1871 and committed 'tortious interference' in business by canceling the game over a political matter."
JCN President Alfredo Ortiz has led a campaign against MLB's decision with protests in front of MLB's Manhattan headquarters and billboards in Times Square, lambasting Rob Manfred, the league's commissioner, for caving to leftist activist groups pushing him to boycott Georgia over its new voting law. These leftist groups claim the state's new law was racist and discriminatory, even though conservatives and Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp have argued the law merely helps ensure the integrity of mail-in voting and requires voter ID.
"MLB robbed the small businesses of Atlanta – many of them minority-owned – of $100 million," Ortiz told Fox Business. "We want the game back where it belongs. This was a knee-jerk, hypocritical, and illegal reaction to misinformation about Georgia's new voting law which includes voter ID."
"[M]ajor League Baseball itself requests ID at will call ticket windows at Yankee Stadium in New York, Busch Stadium in St. Louis, and at ballparks all across the country."
JCN's lawsuit demands MLB moves the game back to Atlanta's Truist Park and the league pay small businesses for damages, which were estimated by the Cobb County Travel and Tourism Bureau to equal approximately $100 million.
"MLB Defendants intended to punish Georgians because their state enacted a reasonable ballot-integrity statute and to coerce Georgia and its duly elected government to surrender Georgia's sovereignty in our federal system," the lawsuit states.
"Thousands of hard-working ordinary men and women in the Atlanta area, many reeling from the psychological trauma and economic havoc of the COVID-19 pandemic, relied on MLB's unqualified promise to hold the 2021 All-Star Game in Truist Park. They were looking forward to the beginning of a return to normalcy, with the country opening up and the All-Star Game coming to town.
"For 21 months, from July 2019 through March 2021, these men and women planned and budgeted and invested and hoped for a wonderful and profitable event. The damages resulting from the cancellation of the All-Star Game in Atlanta are staggering. More than 8,000 hotel reservations were canceled; revenues from ticket sales and stadium food by the more than 41,000 expected to attend the events at Truist Park were lost."
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