- The Washington Times
Tuesday, June 22, 2021

A free-market group has withdrawn its lawsuit against Major League Baseball for pulling the All-Star Game out of Atlanta after a judge denied a request to stop the event from being moved to Denver.

Alfredo Ortiz, president of the Job Creators Network, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of Atlanta small businesses and residents, said the group would “continue to fight for local small businesses to hold MLB accountable for its actions.

“MLB’s decision to punish these Atlanta small businesses and residents who bear no responsibility for their state’s political action was wrong — no matter what one judge says. The Job Creators Network will continue fighting tirelessly to make it right,” he said in a Monday statement.

U.S. District Court Judge Valerie E. Caproni rejected the group’s request for a preliminary injunction June 11, saying the network lacked standing.

The MLB had ripped the lawsuit in its court filing as “political theatrics” and part of a “publicity campaign,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In April, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred yanked the All-Star Game out of Georgia over the governor’s signing of a hotly debated elections law, saying that “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”

The law expanded early voting, added identification requirements for absentee ballots, and scaled back the number of ballot drop boxes from pandemic levels in what President Biden and Georgia Democratic powerbroker Stacey Abrams decried as a return to “Jim Crow.”

Mr. Manfred responded by moving to July 13 game to Denver‘s Coors Field, delivering an estimated $100 million hit to Atlanta, which has a Black population of about 51%. Denver is 9% Black.

“By moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver, the MLB has punished a city with one of the highest black populations in the country and rewarded a city with one of the lowest,” Mr. Ortiz said.

He said that the group, which has also run an ad in the New York Times and billboards on Time Square blasting the relocation, would consider other legal options, and “have more information to announce in the coming days.”

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