The discourse is too easily hijacked in these disquieting culture-war days, distilling complicated issues into a rhetorical jingoism that prevents rational conversation and nuanced arguments.
Predictably, Major League Baseball landed in the woke-versus-MAGA fray with its decision Friday to pull the all-star game from Atlanta, in protest of Georgia’s new election bill that places several restrictions around the state’s voting process. Media proxies spent Saturday dutifully howling into the echo chambers of their respective audiences, the usual bluster replacing anything that might resemble productive debate.
Rather than falling down the rabbit hole, let’s emphasize that any election reform that wins approval on a strict party-line vote, rather than bi-partisan support, is designed to give someone the shaft. In the wake of Stacey Abrams’ loss to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in 2018 by less than 55,000 seats, after Democrats flipped a pair of senate seats in last year’s election, with former U.S. President Donald Trump’s claims of widescale voting fraud debunked, the Georgia law is a blatant attack on the voters – often Black – who fuelled those gains.
None of this is comfortable territory for Major League Baseball, which despite cloaking itself in the legacy of Jackie Robinson, was the last of the major North American sports leagues to respond to the killing of George Floyd last year. That commissioner Rob Manfred reacted so quickly this time, consulting only with his executive council rather than all 30 team owners, is a clear indication he felt the sport couldn’t duck this and wait for things to blow over.