The fallout from the Major League Baseball All-Star game isn’t over — at least not according to a new lawsuit filed against MLB.
Job Creators Network, a small business advocacy organization, filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York Monday against Major League Baseball, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball Players Association, and Executive Director Tony Clark.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, demands the immediate return of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game to Georgia or that defendants pay $100 million in damages to local and state small businesses – many of which the organization says are minority-owned and still recovering from Covid-19 losses.
“MLB robbed the small businesses of Atlanta – many of them minority-owned – of $100 million, we want the game back where it belongs,” said Alfredo Ortiz, president and CEO of the Job Creators Network. “This was a knee-jerk, hypocritical and illegal reaction to misinformation about Georgia’s new voting law which includes Voter-ID. Major League Baseball itself requests ID at will-call ticket windows at Yankee Stadium in New York, Busch Stadium in St. Louis and at ballparks all across the country.”
The All-Star game was pulled due to Georgia’s new voting law, which critics believe is more restrictive and particularly harmful to black voters.
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According to the Job Creators Network, Georgia is being harmed by the removal of the game in the following ways:
• More than 8000 hotel reservations were canceled.
• Revenues from ticket sales, concessions and events at Truist Park – including the Futures Game and Home Run Derby Contest – by the more than 41,000 fans expected, were lost.
• According to Cobb County Chief Financial Officer William Volckmann, the county would receive a “robust return” on its roughly $2 million investment to host the events. Previous MLB All-Star events have generated between $37 million and $190 million for their host communities.
• Atlanta is 51% African-American, Denver is 9% African-American. U.S. Census data indicates there are roughly 7.5 times more African-American-owned businesses in Georgia than Colorado.
“Small businesses in this community had valid contracts relating to the All-Star Game and other events, the result of two years of planning and all that was ripped away by fear and misinformation spewed by political activists. Many states, including Colorado where the game has been moved to, have similar or more restrictive election laws,” Ortiz said. “This move essentially tells fans of teams in many other cities that they can never again host the All-Star Game; it’s hypocritical, illegal and we won’t stand for it.”
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