Major League Baseball's woke idea in early April apparently was to punish Georgia for what it viewed as its unfair, recently passed voting law by yanking the All-Star Game from Atlanta.
At the time, MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred Jr. said the move was "the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport," that pro baseball "fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions at the ballot box," and that "fair access to voting continues to have our game's unwavering support."
Georgia's election reforms include requiring absentee ballots be verified with a photo ID and expanding early voting for primary and general elections — changes generally supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats.
'Cancel culture and woke political activists'
After Manfred dumped Atlanta as the All-Star Game's host city, Georgia's Republican Gov. Brian Kemp said "Georgians — and all Americans — should fully understand what the MLB's knee-jerk decision means: cancel culture and woke political activists are coming for every aspect of your life, sports included."
He added, "This attack on our state is the direct result of repeated lies from Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams about a bill that expands access to the ballot box and ensures the integrity of our elections. I will not back down. Georgians will not be bullied. We will continue to stand up for secure, accessible, fair elections."
The Braves also issued a statement upon hearing the news saying they were "deeply disappointed" in the decision to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta and that "unfortunately, businesses, employees, and fans in Georgia are the victims of this decision."
Indeed, according to Fox News, the move actually would hurt minorities by moving revenue from 51% black Atlanta to 76% white Denver, the All-Star Game's eventual landing spot.
Georgia gets some sweet revenge
Well, Manfred may have been able to deny Georgia a big national spotlight — along with coveted cash — by pulling the All-Star Game from Atlanta this year, but there's nothing he can do about the Braves punching their ticket to the World Series after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the National League Championship over the weekend.
The Braves will host at least games 3 and 4 on Friday and Saturday in Atlanta against the Houston Astros — and possibly game 5 on Sunday.
What was the reaction?
In the eyes of many folks, the Braves' appearance in the Series is some big-time comeuppance for Manfred and all those who supported dumping Atlanta for the All-Star Game.
At the top of the list was Kemp, who took aim again at Abrams — who has been a prominent voice against the state's voting law — as well as the MLB: "While Stacey Abrams and the MLB stole the All-Star Game from hardworking Georgians, the Braves earned their trip to the World Series this season and are bringing it home to Georgia. Chop On, and Go @Braves!"
Another prominent Georgia Republican, Marci McCarthy — chair of the DeKalb GOP — reveled in the turn of events:
Other Twitter users expressed similar emotions:
- "So now the woke-social justice warrior moron, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, has to watch the team, the city, and the state he screwed — on the biggest stage — the only one bigger than the All-Star game," talk radio station WJNO-AM said.
- "Big Middle Finger to @MLB & Rob Manfred from the city of ATL," one user said. "Would love to see Manchild 'forced' to present them the Series trophy after Game 5 in front of stadium full of fans from which he ripped Henry Aaron All-Star tribute ..."
- "Rob Manfred has to come to Atlanta for the World Series!!" another user said. "Eat. S**t. MLB."
- "Now we need the Braves to win the series in 4 or 5 so Rob Manfred has to be here to face the fans to present the trophy after taking the All-Star Game," another user noted.
- "I wonder how Rob Manfred feels about the city of Atlanta and Braves being in World Series after canceling All-Star game," another user mused. "Another horrible hypocrite that should not show his face at World Series."
- I hope the @Braves go on & win the World Series at Truist Park! We'll see how warm of a reception Rob Manfred gets when he has to present the [Trophy] in Atlanta after moving the All-Star game in a 'woke' political move that has nothing to do with baseball."
And on the day the Braves got the bad news about the All-Star Game moving — April 2 — one user posted a humorous tweet referring to a famous scene from the beloved baseball movie, "Major League," which marks the turning point for the frustrated franchise in the film:
And the guy who posted the original tweet revisited it Sunday: "Only fitting ending is for Rob Manfred to hand the trophy to the @Braves organization."