Georgia’s Republican governor vowed a fight after Major League Baseball’s move to take this year’s All-Star Game and the MLB Draft event from Atlanta to show its concern for recently passed legislation on election procedures.
Friday’s move also spurred a backlash from former President Donald Trump, who has issued two statements on the subject so far, calling for boycotts of companies in favor of the shift in venue.
Trump released a second statement on the controversy Saturday night calling on Republicans and conservatives to boycott a number of companies.
The former president took aim at Democrats for playing "dirty" and boycotting companies that "in any way [offend] them."
“For years the Radical Left Democrats have played dirty by boycotting products when anything from that company is done or stated in any way that offends them. Now they are going big time with the WOKE CANCEL CULTURE and our sacred elections,” Trump said in a statement on Saturday released by Save America PAC.
He told Republicans to "fight back" alleging that "we have more people than they do,"and urged conservatives to boycott specific companies including Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines and Citigroup.
“It is finally time for Republicans and Conservatives to fight back— we have more people than they do— by far! Boycott Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, JPMorgan Chase, ViacomCBS, Citigroup, Cisco, UPS and Merck. Don’t go back to their products until they relent. We can play a better game than them,” he said.
The controversy began on Friday when major league baseball made their move.
“I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft,” Commissioner Robert Manfred Jr. said on Friday. “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”
Manfred didn’t specifically mention Georgia’s new election law signed by Governor Brian Kemp on March 25, which its supporters called a measure to restore “integrity” after allegations of fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
“I want to be clear: I will not be backing down from this fight. We will not be intimidated, and we will also not be silenced,” Kemp said at a news conference on Saturday.
“Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola and Delta may be scared of Stacey Abrams, Joe Biden and the left, but I am not,” he said, referring to two of the companies that have criticized the state’s law, and Abrams, the Democratic activist.
Last week, with pressure mounting in the state, groups were threatening consumer boycotts of Coca-Cola Co., Delta Air Lines Inc. and other companies that have supported the bill’s sponsors.
Trump weighed in Friday and Saturday via press release.
“Baseball is already losing tremendous numbers of fans,” he said in a statement on Friday. “Boycott baseball and all of the woke companies that are interfering with Free and Fair Elections. Are you listening Coke, Delta, and all!”
Trump's Saturday statement also named JPMorgan Chase, ViacomCBS, Citigroup, Cisco Systems, United Parcel Service and Merck. “Don’t go back to their products until they relent,” he said.
Kemp’s press conference followed a series of tweets criticizing the MLB’s move. The league “caved to fear, political opportunism and liberal lies,” he wrote.
Florida GOP Senator Marco Rubio on Friday criticized “woke corporate hypocrites” in a tweet.
In a statement, the Atlanta Braves said they were “deeply disappointed” by the decision. “We are saddened that fans will not be able to see this event in our city,” the Braves said, adding that the team said it “will continue to stress the importance of equal voting opportunities.”
Manfred said his decision follows “thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others.” He said the league is “finalizing a new host city.”
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