Jim Geraghty wonders why Major League Baseball pulled its all-star game from Georgia, but major sporting events are still scheduled to take place in that state. He cites the Masters Golf Tournament, as well as all home games for professional Atlanta teams and Georgia’s collegiate athletic programs. In addition, the following events are still a go, as of now:
The 2021 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Games in Atlanta
The 2021 SEC Championship Game
The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
The PGA Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in September
The USTA Atlanta Open
Why, Geraghty asks rhetorically, if there is a moral imperative to move the baseball all-star game, is there no obligation to move other sporting events to a different state?
The answer, of course, is that there is no such obligation. That, I take it, is Geraghty’s point.
But why has baseball moved the all-star game, while comparable events will still take place in Georgia? I don’t know for certain.
I do know that the Masters has a history of not bowing to pressure stemming from identity politics. Some years ago, when the left threatened sponsors of the televised tournament because the Augusta club did not admit women, the organizers decided to present the event commercial free.
Those were the days.
As for baseball, there may be a particular reason why it was so quick to knuckle under to the woke left — a reason suggested to me by a reader with extensive background in the sport. Baseball’s labor contract will soon expire and everyone expects negotiations over a new one to be tortuous.
Tony Clark, a former player, heads the players’ union. He wanted the game moved out of Georgia. There’s a good chance that the commissioner’s decision to move it was in part (maybe in large part) an attempt to appease Tony Clark in advance of negotiations over a new contract with the union.
We should never underestimate the tendency of corporate heads to make bad decisions simply to avoid accusations, no matter how ridiculous, that they are abetting “racism.” But the suits at Major League Baseball had an extra incentive to knuckle under. That incentive might have made the difference.
UPDATE: According to a report in The Athletic:
[Commissioner Rob Manfred] spoke to the Players Association during his [decision making] process, but the union, which had not yet surveyed its membership when the decision came down, did not have to and did not sign off on the switch. Some club executives called around to one another Friday, trying to determine exactly how the final choice went down, and the union did not know it was coming.
This report is not inconsistent with (1) Tony Clark telling Manfred what he wanted and (2) Manfred complying.
STEVE asks: When did corporate presidents turn into college presidents? It happened so slowly I hardly noticed. . .