Minority small-business owners and advocates in Atlanta are blasting Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred for “punishing the very group” they claim to be “defending” by moving the All-Star Game to Colorado.

Darrell Anderson, a black man and owner of a limousine service that would have likely seen a significant increase in business during All-Star week told the Washington Free Beacon that the move deprived minority business owners of a much-needed opportunity to make up financial losses from the pandemic.

“As the owner of a transportation service in Atlanta, I know firsthand how badly our community wanted the All-Star Game played here,” Anderson said. “The $100 million in revenue to this area was going to be the opportunity for all of us to recover some of the losses that we incurred during the pandemic.  Now, not only is that revenue gone, we may lose even more because conventions that were planned for Atlanta are now up in the air thanks to this decision by the MLB.”

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred decided to move the All-Star Game from Atlanta after Georgia passed a voter reform law to prevent fraudulent voting. The law’s chief features include a provision requiring proof of identification for mail-in voting and limits the time period for requesting an absentee ballot. Though, despite criticisms from Democrat politicians and activists, the law significantly expands voting opportunities.

The Job Creators Network, a group that advocates for small businesses, sent a letter to Commissioner Manfred highlighting the damage done to minority businesses and asking him to move the game back to Atlanta.

“Your decision is punishing the very group you claim to be defending,” Job Creators Network Alfredo Ortiz wrote. “Small businesses in Georgia are hurting and you pulled a multi-million dollar rug out from underneath them…. Don’t let activist groups weaponize America’s pastime to push radical ideas that MLB fans don’t support.”

Anderson blasted the union of politicians and corporations, stating that nothing good can happen when politics mixes with sports.

“When Big Business teams up with politicians, they make bad decisions, and small businesses and their hardworking employees suffer the most,” he said. “Politics should be decided at the ballot box. It has no place in making business decisions like where to hold the All-Star Game.”

In a recent Rasmussen poll, a plurality of black voters said they opposed MLB’s decision to move its All-Star Game from Atlanta. A majority, 57 percent, said it was a bad idea for sports teams and athletes to get involved in politics.

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