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Georgia lawmakers rally around lawsuit targeting MLB for moving All-Star game out of Atlanta

The MLB has argued that the "Court's time should not be wasted on political theatrics."

Updated: June 8, 2021 - 10:29pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Georgia Republicans are rallying behind the Job Creator Network's (JCN) lawsuit targeting Major League Baseball for shifting its All-Star Game away from Atlanta in the wake of the Peach State's passage of election-related legislation.

State Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller noted that all 34 members state Senate Majority Caucus support the small business advocacy group's lawsuit.

"On behalf of the Senate Majority Caucus of the Georgia legislature, I write to affirm our collective support of Job Creators Network v. MLB et. al," Miller noted in a letter to JCN's attorney Howard Kleinhendler.

The leaders of the Majority Caucus of the Georgia House of Representatives wrote a letter in support of JCN's lawsuit.

"As elected officials in the nation's #1 state for business, we hope that the Court will give serious consideration to the facts of this case and understand that if wrongful decisions like the one made by Major League Baseball are permitted to continue, then each and every business in this nation — and the job of every employee — is jeopardized by the whims of a well-funded, ultra liberal political machine that has no regard for facts," the state lawmakers wrote.

In a letter to Judge Valerie Caproni of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk declared: "I stand in full support of those calling for MLB to return the All-Star Game to Truist Park, or provide compensation to those who have been financially harmed by its decision to move the game."

JCN in a May 31 press release announced that it had "filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York 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 Atlanta or that defendants pay $100 million in damages to local and state small businesses – many of which are minority-owned and still recovering from Covid-19 losses," JCN said

"JCN’s suit demands the immediate return of the All-Star Game to Atlanta or payment by the defendants of $100 million in damages to local and state small businesses – many of which are minority-owned and still recovering from Covid-19 losses," according to a JCN press release which notes that a hearing in the case is scheduled to occur on June 10. "The defendants are MLB, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and the Players Association, and Executive Director Tony Clark," the group said.

The MLB pushed back against the suit In a recent court filing that said the "Court's time should not be wasted on political theatrics."

The filing stated that JCN "brought this case as the latest step in its publicity campaign against Major League Baseball ("MLB") and MLB's Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. for deciding not to hold the 2021 All-Star Game in Atlanta following the passage of a Georgia law, commonly referred to as SB 202, that has been widely criticized as restricting voting rights. JCN has been vocal in opposing MLB's decision, but that does not give it a basis for federal civil rights claims. Moreover, despite its claims of exigency, JCN spent the last two months putting up billboards in Times Square and running inflammatory advertisements in The New York Times. When its publicity campaign had no effect, JCN decided to sue, but this Court's time should not be wasted on political theatrics," the filing stated.

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