Conservative Business Group Sues MLB to Bring All-Star Game Back to Atlanta

A conservative business group is suing Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) following the league's decision to pull the All-Star Game from Atlanta.

The Job Creators Network (JCN) intends to file suit in Manhattan on Tuesday, according to Fox Business, and will seek that the All-Star Game be returned to Atlanta or damages of not less than $100 million to be distributed to Atlanta businesses that JCN alleges were financially damaged by the decision.

MLB pulled the game out of Georgia following the state's passage of a new voting law that critics charged was intended as a voter suppression measure and President Joe Biden compared it to racist Jim Crow laws.

Georgia Republicans have accused Democrats of spreading misinformation about the law, which they say is simply an election integrity measure.

The lawsuit alleges that MLB violated the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 because the league "committed 'tortious interference' in business by canceling the game over a political matter."

"MLB Defendants intended to punish Georgians because their state enacted a reasonable ballot-integrity statute and to coerce Georgia and its duly elected government to surrender Georgia's sovereignty in our federal system," the filing says.

"Thousands of hard-working ordinary men and women in the Atlanta area, many reeling from the psychological trauma and economic havoc of the COVID-19 pandemic, relied on MLB's unqualified promise to hold the 2021 All-Star Game in Truist Park. They were looking forward to the beginning of a return to normalcy, with the country opening up and the All-Star Game coming to town."

"For 21 months, from July 2019 through March 2021, these men and women planned and budgeted and invested and hoped for a wonderful and profitable event. The damages resulting from the cancellation of the All-Star Game in Atlanta are staggering," the lawsuit says.

"More than 8,000 hotel reservations were canceled; revenues from ticket sales and stadium food by the more than 41,000 expected to attend the events at Truist Park were lost."

The $100 million damages being sought appear to be based on an estimate by the Cobb County Travel and Tourism Board about the impact of pulling the game on the Atlanta metro area's economy. Truist Park is located in Cobb County. If the court awards the damages, they would be placed in a fund administered by the plaintiffs for distribution to the affected businesses.

Alfred Ortiz, president of JCN, told Fox Business that MLB had "robbed the small businesses of Atlanta – many of them minority-owned – of $100 million. We want the game back where it belongs."

"This was a knee-jerk, hypocritical and illegal reaction to misinformation about Georgia's new voting law which includes voter ID," said Ortiz, who is also a member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

JCN is was founded by Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot, and has more than 30 partners, including the Nevada Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and the Georgia Association of Manufacturers.

Newsweek has asked JCN, MLB and the MLBPA for comment.

An MLB All-Star Game Protest in 2010
Immigrants rights supporters protest outside of Major League Baseball headquarters July 8, 2010 in New York City. The protesters were calling for Major League Baseball to move the 2011 All-Star Game out of Arizona in protest of the state's controversial immigration law. MLB has moved the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta, Georgia. Mario Tama/Getty Images