Ex-MLB commissioner Fay Vincent slams successor Rob Manfred’s decision to move the All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver over Georgia’s voter law, saying baseball ‘can’t become a weapon in the culture wars’
Former Major League Baseball commissioner Fay Vincent has slammed successor Rob Manfred over the ‘mistake’ of moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta to Denver in response to the new voting law in Georgia that many believe to be racist.
‘Major League Baseball can’t become a weapon in the culture wars, a hostage for one political party or ideology,’ Vincent wrote in The Wall Street Journal’s opinion section.
Georgia’s new law limits mail-in voting and allows for more legislative control over the election process following former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Vincent accused Manfred of making a ‘serious mistake’ by moving the annual mid-summer exhibition to Denver’s Coors Field ‘without first protesting the substance of the law.’
‘Mr. Manfred failed to spell out specific criticisms of Georgia’s voting law,’ Vincent wrote. ‘Now he’s put himself in the awkward position of having to defend Colorado’s voting laws.’
Conservatives, including Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, have painted Manfred as an uninformed hypocrite over the decision, claiming that Colorado’s laws voting laws are similarly prohibitive.
‘Georgia has 17 days of in-person early voting including two optional Sundays, Colorado has 15,’ Kemp said. ‘So what I’m being told, they also have a photo ID requirement. So it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.’
Kemp was not entirely correct. Colorado does not require identification for mail-in voting, and although it does for first-time registrations, voters can use 16 different forms of ID.
Furthermore, Colorado Democrats are boasting about their mail-in voting system fo its accessibility. In November, for instance, there were more than 350 drop boxes for ballots and voters could track their votes, to see if they were accepted and counted, thanks to Colorado’s state-wide tracking system.
But Vincent’s criticism of Manfred’s decision goes deeper than just his understanding of Colorado voting laws.
According to the former Commissioner, who served from 1989 until 1992, the injured parties in this case will ‘be Atlanta’s stadium workers and local vendors.’
The All-Star Game is lucrative for host cities, generating an average of $84.4 million a year over the last decade, according to MLB data.
‘The midsummer All-Star Game is an exhibition that benefits only the city where it’s played,’ Vincent wrote. ‘The players will get paid no matter where the game takes place. MLB will get the same television revenue.’
Vincent also believes baseball needs to be bigger than any singular political issue.
‘During my time as commissioner, I learned that the American people view baseball as a public trust,’ he wrote. ‘They want the game to stand for the best and noblest of our national virtues. They see baseball as the repository of their dreams, even as they root for their favorite teams. They don’t want, and won’t accept, anything that separates them from the game’s history and leadership.
‘Major League Baseball can’t become a weapon in the culture wars, a hostage for one political party or ideology. It can’t be only for the rich or the poor, nor can it only be for one race, as it was until 1947. Baseball must always stand above politics and its dark elements of corruption, greed and sordid selfishness. It can’t go wrong by standing for national greatness.’