The Phillies have no plans to host this summer’s All Star Game as Major League Baseball looks for a new site after removing the game from Atlanta in objection to Georgia’s recently changed voting laws that President Biden called “Jim Crow in the 21st century.”
The Phillies are hosting the game in 2026, which coincides with the 250th anniversary of the establishment of the United States. It was late Phillies president David Montgomery’s wish to bring the game back to Philadelphia during the summer of the semiquincentennial.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced two months before Montgomery’s death in 2019 that the game would come to Citizens Bank Park in 2026. The Phillies hosted the game in 1976 during the Bicentennial and again twenty years later at Veterans Stadium. They are out for hosting this summer.
MLB announced Friday that the All Star Game would no longer be played at Atlanta’s Truist Park.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the voting laws into action on March 25, which were adopted largely in response to false claims of fraud in the 2020 elections by President Trump and his supporters. The law includes new restrictions on voting by mail and greater legislative control over how elections are run. The laws also make it a crime to hand out food or water to voters waiting in line.
The Republican governor said MLB “caved to fear and lies from liberal activists” and that decision will hurt working people in the state and have long-term consequences on the economy.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” Manfred said in a statement. “In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.”
The Braves said they were “deeply disappointed” by MLB’s decision. They hoped Atlanta could have used the event as a “platform to enhance the discussion” of equal voting opportunities. MLB has not indicated what ballpark will host the game, but Milwaukee’s mayor made a pitch to host the game as a tribute to Hank Aaron, who died in January.
“I haven’t really followed the political part of it very closely, but Major League Baseball thought it was important to make that decision,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “They probably have a much better understanding of it then I do. It’s something that happened and Major League Baseball must’ve thought that that’s what was best for our game.”