TAMPA — The MLB All-Star Game is scheduled for July 13 at Atlanta’s Truist Park.
There could be a fight about keeping it there, however, and if that happens, Giancarlo Stanton expects to be a part of it.
After the Georgia state legislature passed a restrictive election reform bill, the MLB Players Association is considering approaching the league about moving the game.
The head of the MLBPA, Tony Clark, recently told the Boston Globe players are “very much aware” of the bill.
“As it relates to the All-Star Game, we have not had a conversation with the league on that issue,’’ Clark told The Globe. “If there is an opportunity to, we would look forward to having that conversation.”
Stanton said while he didn’t know all the specifics, he believed it would be worthwhile to discuss the matter.
“That’s always gonna be an open conversation, to get the best result for what makes the most sense,’’ Stanton said Saturday from Steinbrenner Field. “It takes situations like this and topics like this to move forward and talk about it and get a game plan.”
Stanton became one of the faces of the sport’s fight against racial injustice last season in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis and said that wasn’t a hard decision for him.
“It needed to be done,’’ Stanton said of speaking out. “When things need to be done, you don’t worry about the difficulties or hardships of it. You just figure out day-by-day how to get through it and what’s the best thing to do.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who is in line to manage the National League team in the game following their World Series title, told the Los Angeles Times he would consider skipping the game if nothing is done regarding the Georgia bill.
“If it gets to that point, it’ll certainly be a decision I’ll have to make personally,’’ Roberts said of the bill, which would require a photo ID in order to vote absentee by mail and reduce the time period people have to request an absentee ballot, among other restrictions. “When you’re trying to restrict African-American votes — American citizens — that’s alarming to hear.”
In 2017, the NBA moved its All-Star Game out of Charlotte due to North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which limited anti-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ community.
In the coming months, the MLB All-Star Game might become a point of contention over the possibility of playing the game in front of full capacity.