April 18, 2021

On Optics and Doing the Right Thing (FanGraphs)


I come here not to bury MLB, and not really to praise it, but to wonder what else it could have done. On Friday, the league announced that it would be pulling this summer’s All-Star Game from Atlanta in the wake of Georgia’s Republican-controlled legislature passing a law that would, among other things, impose burdensome new ID requirements on voters, limit absentee voting, and give the legislature wide latitude to intervene on state and county election boards. It was a move both correct and frustratingly limited, a multi-billion-dollar enterprise both doing the least and also the most it realistically could in the moment.

Argue if you’d like that MLB’s decision is as much about optics as doing the right thing. (You’d be correct.) Feel free to think that, regardless of the reasoning, a good decision remains a good decision. (You’d once again be right.) MLB had no choice here; holding a marquee, vote-driven event in a state where voting itself is under attack would be tone deaf and wrong. Nor should a league set to celebrate the life and career of Henry Aaron at the Midsummer Classic do so in a state whose new voter law disproportionately affects Black voters….

Read “On Optics and Doing the Right Thing” at FanGraphs