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MLB’s new location for its All-Star game is steeped in its own history of discrimination

Jerry Oppenheimer is a bestselling biographer of the Clintons, Kennedys and other iconic families. He recently reported on the recall campaign of California Governor Gavin Newsom for DailyMail.com 

By moving the All-Star Game from suburban Atlanta to a stadium in Denver, Major League Baseball may have gone from the frying pan into the fire in the controversial case of cancel culture.

MLB ignited a firestorm last Friday – with the support of President Joe Biden – when it announced it was moving America’s pastime’s biggest game next to the World Series because it disagreed with a new Georgia voting law that liberal critics say helps Republicans and hurts minorities.

But the new venue, Coors Field, in Denver, comes with its own dark cloud of controversy, and may ignite even more problems.

The MLB decision-makers seemed to have forgotten that Denver’s Coors Field is named for Coors Brewing Company, which for more than a decade beginning back in the 1970s was accused of discrimination in its hiring, and other questionable practices. 

MLB pulled its All-Star Game from Georgia over its new voting law  but the reported new venue, Coors Field, in Denver (pictured), comes with its own dark cloud of controversy, and may ignite even more problems

MLB pulled its All-Star Game from Georgia over its new voting law  but the reported new venue, Coors Field, in Denver (pictured), comes with its own dark cloud of controversy, and may ignite even more problems

Coors Field is named for Coors Brewing Company, which for more than a decade was accused of discrimination in its hiring and other questionable practices. Pictured are protesters in 1975

Coors Field is named for Coors Brewing Company, which for more than a decade was accused of discrimination in its hiring and other questionable practices. Pictured are protesters in 1975

The allegations sparked protests and boycotts for years against Coors, resulting in one headline noting, ‘When A Beer Can Signaled Your Politics.’

In September 1975, the government, in a suit filed in federal court by the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, charged that for a decade the company ‘intentionally engaged in unlawful employment practices’ by discriminating in the hiring and promotions of Black people, Mexican-Americans and women – all in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Ironically, the suit against Coors, headquartered in Golden, Colorado, was then headed by Joseph Coors, who just days earlier appeared before the Senate Commerce Committee in confirmation hearings on his nomination by President Gerald Ford to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Last week, Biden joined the tsunami of calls by liberal groups for the relocation of the July 13 game from the Atlanta Braves stadium, Truist Park, because of the voting law that critics claimed would have a major negative impact on black voters. 

Yesterday, ESPN reported that Coors Field would be the game’s new venue, and other news outlets followed.

Two brothers, Joseph and William Coors, long-ruled the beer company and were known for their ultraconservative views, anti-union policies, and as a result they consistently attracted the wrath of civil rights groups and minorities.

William, who said his brother was ‘a little bit right of Attila the Hun,’ always claimed that America was a land of opportunity for legal and illegal immigrants. 

But he called the illegals coming from Mexico ‘wetbacks’ who crossed the Rio Grande River, and he once declared in a speech to black business owners that blacks lacked ‘intellectual capacity,’ according to a report at the time in the Rocky Mountain News newspaper. 

Coors executives from left Robert Rechholtz, Joseph Coors and William Coors announce that their company will build a new plant in Virginia in 1985. Two brothers, Joseph and William Coors, long-ruled the beer company and were known for their ultraconservative views, anti-union policies, and as a result they consistently attracted the wrath of civil rights groups and minorities

Coors executives from left Robert Rechholtz, Joseph Coors and William Coors announce that their company will build a new plant in Virginia in 1985. Two brothers, Joseph and William Coors, long-ruled the beer company and were known for their ultraconservative views, anti-union policies, and as a result they consistently attracted the wrath of civil rights groups and minorities

Coors allegedly discriminated in the hiring and promotions of Black people, Mexican-Americans and women ¿ all in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

Coors allegedly discriminated in the hiring and promotions of Black people, Mexican-Americans and women – all in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

It caused a furor and blacks called for a boycott of Coors beer in Los Angeles, with 500 liquor stores in Southern California joining it. 

William Coors apologized the next day, but sued the newspaper for libel, saying his words had been distorted. The suit was later dropped. 

Governor Brian Kemp hosted a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta after MLB announced the All Star Game would no longer be hosted in the city because of recent voting legislation

Governor Brian Kemp hosted a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta after MLB announced the All Star Game would no longer be hosted in the city because of recent voting legislation

As a result of that boycott, Coors soon announced it would begin hiring blacks and Hispanics and investing in minority businesses.

Gays were also a target of Coors management, and for years bars catering to homosexuals and lesbians boycotted Coors beer. 

One reason was because Coors was said to have used lie-detector tests to discover gay employees, resulting in a strike by the company’s brewery workers in 1977. The gay struggle against Coors continued through the presidency of Ronald Reagan

The AFL-CIO also declared a boycott that lasted a decade causing Coors to lose business. The boycott gained momentum when black, Hispanic, gay and feminist groups joined in.

By the 1980s, two of Joseph Coors image-conscious, conciliatory sons took over control, the boycotts ended, and the business boomed.

William Coors died at 102 in 2018. Joseph Coors died in 2003 at 85.

But the question today, in the era of cancel culture, is will $300 million Coors Field, the home of the Colorado Rockies, remain as the venue for this year’s All Star Game, or will its naming after Coors Brewing Company in the 1990s stir dark memories and more controversy. 

Former President Barack Obama praised Major League Baseball for its decision to pull its All-Star Game from Georgia over the state's new voting law

Former President Barack Obama praised Major League Baseball for its decision to pull its All-Star Game from Georgia over the state’s new voting law

Trump's statement calling to boycott baseball was posted to Twitter by the RSBN Network

Trump’s statement calling to boycott baseball was posted to Twitter by the RSBN Network

Former President Barack Obama praised Major League Baseball for its decision to pull its All-Star Game from Georgia over the state’s new voting law, as Republican governor Brian Kemp slammed the league for ‘caving to fear and lies’. 

‘Congratulations to @MLB for taking a stand on behalf of voting rights for all citizens,’ Obama tweeted on Saturday morning.

‘There’s no better way for America’s pastime to honor the great Hank Aaron, who always led by example.’ 

Obama’s response to MLB’s decision stands in stark contrast with former President Donald Trump, who has called on supporters to ‘boycott baseball’, while Kemp and Tucker Carlson blasted cancel culture.

Kemp has insisted opponents have mischaracterized what the law does, yet Republican lawmakers made the changes largely in response to false claims of fraud in the 2020 elections made by former President Donald Trump and his supporters. 

Trump lashed out at opponents of the law in a statement on Friday.

‘Baseball is already losing tremendous numbers of fans, and now they leave Atlanta with their All-Star Game because they are afraid of the Radical Left Democrats who do not want voter I.D., which is desperately needed, to have anything to do with our elections,’ Trump said. 

‘Boycott baseball and all of the woke companies that are interfering with Free and Fair Elections. Are you listening Coke, Delta, and all!’


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