AUSTIN, Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott has declined an invitation to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the home opener of the Texas Rangers over Major League Baseball’s decision to move its All-Star Game from Atlanta in response to Georgia’s new election integrity laws.
In a letter to the Rangers, Abbott said MLB’s decision to move the game is furthering a false political narrative.
“Major League Baseball adopted what has turned out to be a false narrative about the election law reforms in Georgia, and, based on that false narrative, moved the MLB All-Star game from Atlanta,” Abbott said in the letter. “It is shameful that America’s pastime is not only being influenced by partisan political politics, but also perpetuating false political narratives. This decision does not diminish the deep respect I have for the Texas Rangers baseball organization, which is outstanding from top to bottom.”
Abbott also said that he will no longer participate in any event held by MLB and that the State of Texas will not seek to host the All-Star game or any other MLB special events.
The sweeping rewrite of Georgia’s election rules represents the first big set of changes since former President Donald Trump’s repeated, baseless claims of fraud following his presidential loss to Joe Biden.
Georgia has been at the center of that storm. Trump zeroed in on his loss in the state, even as two Democrats won election to the U.S. Senate in January, flipping control of the chamber to their party. The 98-page measure that was signed into law Thursday by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp makes numerous changes to how elections will be administered, including a new photo ID requirement for voting absentee by mail.
Republican supporters say the law is needed to restore confidence in Georgia’s elections. Democrats say it will restrict voting access, especially for voters of color. Here’s a look at some of the top issues:
You can read the letter below:
The Associated Press contributed to this report.