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Analysis: How Brian Kemp used the Atlanta Braves to troll Stacey Abrams

That’s exactly what Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp did over the weekend — following the Braves series-clinching win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“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,” tweeted Kemp. “Chop On, and Go @Braves!”
Kemp is referencing the decision by Major League Baseball to pull its annual All-Star game out of Atlanta following the state’s passage of a law that makes it harder for people to vote. Georgia was the first state to make its voting process more stringent in the wake of the 2020 election, which former President Donald Trump insisted was fraudulent despite zero evidence of that being the case.
“Georgia will take another step toward ensuring our elections are secure, accessible, and fair,” Kemp said at the time of the bill’s signing. Abrams, who had lost narrowly to Kemp in the 2018 gubernatorial election, said that the new law had the effect of “reviving Georgia’s dark past of racist voting laws.”

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Just days later, MLB said it would move its All-Star game. “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” said MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in announcing the decision.
Kemp was adamant that MLB had caved to a woke culture that was drastically misreading the goals and impacts of the legislation. (You can and should read this CNN fact check about what the bill does and doesn’t do.)
“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 tweeted at the time. “If the left doesn’t agree with you, facts and the truth do not matter.”
The battle against woke culture has only picked up steam in Republican politics since the All-Star game boycott of Georgia. Glenn Youngkin, the Republican nominee for governor in this year’s Virginia governor’s race, for example has sought to turn the race against former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe into a referendum on what schools are teaching kids about gender and history.
Kemp’s decision to use the Braves making the World Series as a chance to slash away at Abrams, who is widely expected to make another bid for the state’s top job next November, is entirely in keeping with the Republican effort to turn the 2021 and 2022 election into a culture clash — with so-called “woke culture” at its center.
Democrats aren’t shying away from that fight either. Where was Abrams as Kemp was blasting away at her for the MLB All-Star game? Campaigning in Virginia for McAuliffe ahead of the state’s vote in 8 days’ time.

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