On Monday, MLB announced that the 2021 All-Star Game will be hosted at Coors Field in Denver, CO.
MLB has officially announced Denver as the site of the relocated 2021 All-Star Game.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 6, 2021
Late last week, MLB decided to relocate the All-Star Game after the passing of S.B. 202, a Georgia law that would restrict voting access in the state. According to MLB, the decision “proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process.”
In a statement supporting the decision, The Players Alliance, “a group comprised of more than 150 Black current and former professional baseball players” assembled to support opportunities for Black Communities in baseball, was more pointed about the negative impacts of S.B. 202, particularly its disenfranchisement of Black voters.
Because of a plan to honor Henry Aaron at the All-Star Game in Atlanta, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett urged MLB to support the move of the event to Milwaukee. The All Star Game would have been a boon to Milwaukee, which never really felt the economic benefits of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, which was all but cancelled because of COVID-19.
According to the MLB press release, “MLB chose the Rockies because they were already in the bidding process to host a future ASG. The Rockies had supplied a detailed plan for hotel, event space and security that took months to assemble and MLB staff had already made several site visits to Denver.”
MLB likely had other reasons to shy away from selecting Milwaukee as a host. If MLB’s goal is to make a statement about protecting civil liberties, particularly of Black people, Milwaukee, WI would have been a questionable choice. Wisconsin is a state facing its own issues with voter suppression. Professional athletes in Milwaukee, including the Milwaukee Brewers, halted play last summer to protest police brutality against Black Americans, particularly in and around the city. Despite being a lovely and under-appreciated city, Milwaukee is also known nationally for racial segregation and failing to advance civil liberties for African-Americans who live there.