How Will Sports React To The New Georgia Voting Laws?

Sports league said last year they would be active in civic duties.

Georgia now has restrictive voting laws and the sports world does business in Georgia. Will the people who run sports support the new mandate? The answer to that question could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Georgia if there is a sports backlash. FIFA, the governing body of soccer, is going around the country trying to figure out what American cities should host a 2026 World Cup game. Atlanta should be in the mix. Major League Baseball is holding its All-Star Game in Cobb County, Georgia outside of Atlanta and the MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred might be feeling a little heat at some point soon and might have to explain why MLB will keep one of its crown jewels events, the All-Star Game, in Georgia. Manfred in September 2020 said MLB would give its employees Election Day off so the employees could vote in the Presidential Election and pledged that MLB would urge civic engagement beyond the November 2020 election.

Manfred now has a chance to put his money where his mouth is. In September 2020, Manfred said, “The right to vote is a pillar of American democracy, a privilege that we should all appreciate and exercise. I’m proud of our sport’s role in encouraging baseball fans and communities throughout the country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process.” The National Football League, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National  Basketball Association and the National Collegiate Athletic Association all do business in Georgia. The NFL recently had a Super Bowl in Atlanta and probably will not have another available until 2026 but the league could tell Georgia it will not award the big game to Atlanta if the new law results in voter suppression. Money talks and sports has a lot of money available.

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