How Will Sports React To Florida’s New Voting Law?

MLB pulled its All Star Game Out Of Georgia Because of a new voter law.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida legislature have not yet faced sports backlash after the state placed restrictions on voting by mail and ballot drop boxes. But DeSantis and Florida risk losing events like the Super Bowl in South Florida or Tampa or an NBA All-Star Game in Miami or Orlando, or the NHL All-Star Game in South Florida or Tampa or a Major League Baseball or a Major League Soccer All-Star Game. Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross gets big local government money if he scores a big event for his stadium, Ross could be a big loser here if his fellow owners decide to send a message to Florida politicos. Sports owners know who their future consumers are.  They saw them in the streets in the summer of 2020 protesting. Major League Baseball pulled its July All-Star Game out of Cobb County after Georgia passed a more restrictive voter rights bill in April.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association, the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Southeastern Conference do business in Florida. The NCAA has boycotted states before because of political legislation. The NCAA did not stage any post season events in South Carolina and North Carolina in the past because of issues such as the flying of the Confederate flag at the South Carolina’s capital grounds in Columbia and a bathroom transgender law in North Carolina. The Florida legislature also passed a transgender law that bans transgender women and girls from female sports teams at the high school and college levels. The NCAA never weighed in on the Georgia voters’ rights restrictions. Sports owners cannot afford to fight culture wars because young people are increasingly uninterested in culture wars and eventually will be the majority sports consumers.

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