ATLANTA — The Job Creators Network (JCN), a small business advocacy group based in Texas, has filed a lawsuit against Major League Baseball, seeking $100 million in damages to local businesses and $1 billion in punitive damages.
The advocacy group filed the 21-page lawsuit Monday in New York federal court. The JCN said that the MLB was not in the capacity to pull its All-Star Game and Draft event from Atlanta in protest of Georgia’s new election reform law.
“MLB robbed the small business of Atlanta – many of them minority-owned – of $100 million. We want the game back where it belongs,” Alfredo Ortiz, JCN’s President and CEO, said in a prepared statement. “This was a knee-jerk, hypocritical and illegal reaction ... Major League Baseball itself requests ID at will-call ticket windows at Yankee Stadium in New York, Busch Stadium in St. Louis, and at ballparks all across the country.”
Ortiz added that Atlanta, Cobb County, and the state now have to endure another big financial hit since Covid-19. The JCN also noted that more than 8,000 hotel reservations were canceled, and businesses lost anticipated revenues from ticket sales, concessions, and events at Truist Park.
The organization also suggested that minorities would be disproportionately affected since Atlanta has a larger Black community than Denver. U.S. Census indicates Georgia has roughly 7.5 times more African-American-owned businesses than Colorado.
“Small businesses in this community had valid contracts relating to the All-Star Game and other events. The results of two years of planning and all that were ripped away by fear and misinformation spewed by political activists. Many states, including Colorado where the game has been moved to, have similar or more restrictive election laws,” Ortiz said. “This move essentially tells fans of teams in many other cities they can never again host the All-Star Games; it’s hypocritical, illegal and we won’t stand for it.”
This is not the first time JCN has exerted pressure against the MLB. Previously, Job Creators sent a letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred criticizing his decision to withdraw from Atlanta on April 2. The letter was followed by a billboard in Times Square that says, “HEY COMMISH ROB: Keep Your Eye On The Ball… Not Politics”.