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Biden says he would 'strongly support' MLB moving All-Star Game out of Atlanta in protest over Georgia's new 'Jim Crow on steroids' voting law

 Joe Biden has said he backs the Major League Baseball moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta in protest over Georgia's new voting law while he blasted Texas Rangers for reopening their stadium at 100 percent capacity ahead of the opening day for ballparks across the country. 

The president told ESPN's Sage Steele Wednesday he would 'strongly support' discussions between MLB and the players' union on moving the All-Star Game to another state amid concerns about the new legislation that tightens voting laws in Georgia.

'I think today's professional athletes are acting incredibly responsibly. I would strongly support them doing that,' he said.

'The very people who are victimized the most are the people who are the leaders in these various sports. And it's just not right,' Biden said, slamming the Georgia law as 'Jim Crow on steroids.'

His comments came as fans are set to return to major league stadiums on Thursday after they were kept out during the regular season last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.   

Joe Biden has said he would back Major League Baseball moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta over the Georgia's new voting law and blasted the decision to reopen Texas Rangers' stadium at 100 percent capacity ahead of opening day for ballparks across the country

Joe Biden has said he would back Major League Baseball moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta over the Georgia's new voting law and blasted the decision to reopen Texas Rangers' stadium at 100 percent capacity ahead of opening day for ballparks across the country

Several MLB sports stars and prominent figures, including the head of the players of association, have called for the All-Star Game to be moved in response to Governor Brian Kemp's controversial law.

League commissioner Rob Manfred told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he and union leader Tony Clark had discussed the idea.

'I am talking to various constituencies within the game and I'm just not going beyond that in terms of what I would consider or not consider,' Manfred said.

Biden applauded the consideration by the sport to take a stand against the law by moving the hotly-anticipated game out of the red state.


'People look to them,' Biden said of professional athletes. 

'They're leaders. Look at what happened with the NBA, as well. Look what's happened across the board.'

He continued: 'This is Jim Crow on steroids what they're doing in Georgia and 40 other states. What's it all about? 

'Imagine passing a law saying you cannot provide water or food for someone standing in line to vote. Can't do that? Come on.

'Or you're going to close the polling place at 5 o'clock when people just get off? This is all about keeping working folks that I grew up with from being able to vote.'   

The president told ESPN's Sage Steele Wednesday he would 'strongly support' discussions between MLB and the players' union on moving the All-Star Game amid concerns about the new legislation that tightens voting laws in Georgia

The president told ESPN's Sage Steele Wednesday he would 'strongly support' discussions between MLB and the players' union on moving the All-Star Game amid concerns about the new legislation that tightens voting laws in Georgia

Several MLB sports stars and prominent figures have called for the All-Star Game to be moved in response to Governor Brian Kemp's controversial law

Several MLB sports stars and prominent figures have called for the All-Star Game to be moved in response to Governor Brian Kemp's controversial law

Georgia Gov. Kemp signs controversial election bill amid protest
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Last week, Kemp signed a law which Democrats and many sports figures have argued restricts voter access, particularly for communities of color.

The sweeping law requires extra voter ID for mail-in voting and gives electors greater powers to challenge voter eligibility.

It also makes it a crime for non-election workers to give out food and water to voters while they stand in line.  

Critics have slammed the laws as a new 'Jim Crow' era, claiming they disproportionately affect minority communities. 

Civil rights groups filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the law saying it restricts voting rights 'particularly voters of color, new citizens, and religious communities.' 

Several Georgia-based corporations including Coca-Cola and Porsche have condemned the new voting bill which has drawn protests from activists. 

Meanwhile, several other Republican-led states are also considering introducing similar laws in the wake of Donald Trump's repeated false claims that he lost the 2020 election due to fraud.

Dozens of investigations uncovered no evidence of widespread fraud. 

League commissioner Rob Manfred said he is considering moving the All-Star Game in response to Governor Brian Kemp's controversial law

League commissioner Rob Manfred said he is considering moving the All-Star Game in response to Governor Brian Kemp's controversial law

Last week, Kemp signed a law which Democrats and many sports figures have argued restricts voter access, particularly for communities of color

Last week, Kemp signed a law which Democrats and many sports figures have argued restricts voter access, particularly for communities of color 

Biden also told ESPN it was a 'mistake' for the Texas Rangers to allow full capacity at their ballpark for their first game of the season as coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations continue to rock the nation.  

The Rangers' Globe Life Field n Arlington, Texas, is the only Major League Baseball stadium that will allow 100 percent capacity in the crowd on its opening day.

The stadium, which seats 40,300 people, will welcome back a full crowd of fans for its game against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 5.  

'Well, that's a decision they made. I think it's a mistake,' Biden said. 

'They should listen to Dr. [Anthony] Fauci, the scientists and the experts. But I think it's not responsible.'

Fans are required to wear masks when they are not eating and drinking but, with full capacity, social distancing will not be possible in the stands. 

The complete reopening comes after Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifted the state-wide mask mandate and vowed that he would 'open Texas 100%.' 

Other states and stadiums are taking a more measured approach to reopening as the vaccination program continues across America. 

Biden also told ESPN it was a 'mistake' for the Texas Rangers to allow full capacity at their ballpark for their first game of the season

Biden also told ESPN it was a 'mistake' for the Texas Rangers to allow full capacity at their ballpark for their first game of the season

The next highest capacity is 50 percent at the Houston Astros's Minute Maid Park - the Rangers' in-state rival - for their home opener against the Oakland Athletics on April 8.

The Arizona Diamondbacks also plan to have 40 percent capacity while a total of 12 teams are at 20 percent while Boston and Washington will be at 12 percent. 

Manfred has said he hopes all stadiums can be at 100 percent capacity sometime in the summer 

Biden encouraged fans to keep wearing masks and sought to put to rest any concern among players about the safety of the vaccine. 

'I'm President of the United States and I got vaccinated. I don't have an unimportant job,' he told ESPN.

'Would I take the vaccine if I thought it was going to hurt me? We have done incredible research on the vaccines and they have shown that they work. 

Fans are set to return to major league stadiums on Thursday after they were kept out during the regular season last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Minnesota Twins prepare for a spring training baseball game against the Atlanta Braveslast week

Fans are set to return to major league stadiums on Thursday after they were kept out during the regular season last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Minnesota Twins prepare for a spring training baseball game against the Atlanta Braveslast week

'We have to get to the point where enough people have taken the vaccine so we diminish the possibility for it to spread.'  

The president said stadiums were only able to reopen thanks to the rollout of the vaccine. 

'We have 600 million vaccines available so we have enough to vaccinate everybody in the US,' he said.

'But people have to be responsible,' he said, urging people to wear masks, wash their hands and social distance. 

The MLB is encouraging everyone involved in the sport to get vaccinated as soon as possible. 

The MLB and the players' association sent a memo to players, coaches and staff members Monday saying some restrictions will be eliminated when 85 percent of players and primary field staff are vaccinated.  

Biden also spoke about the disparity in pay between male and female athletes.

'I just don't think it's right and don't think it's fair,' he said.

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