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Could Masters be the next focus in battle over Georgia law?


Will Augusta be the next battleground over Georgia's election law? (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Will Augusta be the next battleground over Georgia’s election legislation? (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The eyes of the nation are squarely on the state of Georgia and its new election legislation, proper at the precise second the eyes of the sporting world are turning to a small metropolis in the japanese half of the state.

Friday afternoon, lower than every week earlier than the Masters is scheduled to tee off in Augusta, Major League Baseball introduced it could be moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta in direct response to the legislation. Critics cost the legislation, drafted by the Legislature’s Republican majority and signed into legislation by Gov. Brian Kemp, suppresses the proper of Georgia residents to vote and unfairly targets minority communities.

With an instance simply set, and with the latest historical past of sports activities pulling occasions from states over political issues, consideration then turned to the Masters, which takes place about 150 miles east of Atlanta. The National Black Justice Coalition urged the PGA Tour and Augusta National to “pull [the] upcoming event from Augusta National Golf Course.”

Keith Olbermann, previously of ESPN and MSNBC, has urged a boycott of the Masters, saying the PGA Tour shouldn’t acknowledge the event, and ESPN and CBS shouldn’t broadcast it:

The Masters cannot “move,” any greater than the Kentucky Derby or the Daytona 500 might “move.” The event is wholly the operation of Augusta National Golf Club, and isn’t beholden to the PGA Tour or every other authority. 

Could a boycott work? It’s been tried earlier than. In 2002, Martha Burk protested the membership’s lack of feminine membership, even going as far as to carry vital protests exterior the membership’s gates. But the membership held its place, and didn’t admit ladies for a decade. The membership went as far as to shun commercials for its 2003 broadcast, operating the complete event with out company sponsorship. 

The NFL pulled the Super Bowl from Arizona in 1991 due to the state’s refusal to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. The NBA pulled the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte due to North Carolina’s so-called “bathroom bill” that restricted the rights of transgender people. In each cases, the states reversed course, and the video games finally returned. 

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Jay Busbee is a author for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee, or contact him at [email protected]

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