A Texas-based conservative group is suing Major League Baseball, saying the move of the 2021 All-Star Game from Georgia to Denver caused local businesses $100 million in losses and are seeking the game’s return to Truist Park.
The lawsuit, filed by the Dallas-based Job Creators Network against MLB, the MLBPA and other associated entities in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, alleges a conspiracy among MLB owners in moving the game. The move came after the Republican legislature and governor placed new restrictions on voting rights in the battleground state–part of a movement by several local and national corporations (Delta, Coca-Cola) in decrying the new legislation. The decision rapidly turned into a culture war, with Gov. Brian Kemp warning that cancel culture threatens the freedoms of all Georgians, and many corporate leaders in Georgia hailing the decision. The politics are complex, to be sure.
But yes, the lawsuit is a stunt. It’s hard to see any court agreeing to the demands set forth by the Job Creators Network: $1.1 billion in damages and a return of the game to Atlanta. It’s also hard to see how this right-wing group has standing to begin with: as a private enterprise MLB certainly has the right to hold an event at a place and time it sees fit. This really is an attempt to own the libs–as if MLB is run by libs!–and was filled under a 150-year-old law designed to combat the Ku Klux Klan. The response from MLB and the players association to this lawsuit was pretty succinct:
[MLB] told a federal judge in Manhattan that its decision to move the All-Star Game to Denver must be upheld in order to protect MLB’s “right to demonstrate their values and preserving their freedom as private entities to determine where to hold their events.”…
In a separate filing Monday, the Major League Baseball Players Association questioned why it was being sued since it had no role in MLB’s decision to relocate. It called the lawsuit “political theater,” an “abuse of the judicial process” and mocked the lawsuit’s suggestion that the constitutional rights of Georgia business owners were violated.
“The Founding Fathers did not bestow upon American cities the right to an MLB All-Star Game,” the union’s lawyers wrote.
One can agree or disagree on MLB’s actions; there was plenty of collateral damage in MLB’s move, including from the Atlanta Braves and minority-owned business who would benefit from the game being played in Atlanta.
Coors Field last hosted the All-Star Game in 1998.