The Arizona Diamondbacks will not be throwing their name in the hat for the relocated 2021 All-Star Game.
D-backs owner Ken Kendrick squashed the notion of the team potentially hosting this year’s event while on with Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo on Monday, calling the relocation of the game from the Atlanta Braves’ Truist Park a sad state of affairs.
“No, we absolutely would not [pursue the All-Star Game],” Kendrick said. “We hosted one in 2011, we’re proud that we were able to do that but I view it as it would be an insult to my friends at the Atlanta Braves for us to take the game that was theirs.”
“In my mind, it’s out of respect to them,” Kendrick added. “I wouldn’t expect that Arizona would even be considered based on we had a game relatively recently, 10 years back if you will, and other teams have not. I wouldn’t expect it and if asked I would definitely not be willing to be the host in the setting that we’re operating in.”
Kendrick’s comments come after Major League Baseball moved the All-Star Game — and the other events surrounding it — from the Atlanta Braves’ Truist Park in response to the state of Georgia enacting a new law restricting voting rights.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed an overhaul of state elections in late March that included new restrictions on voting by mail and greater legislative control over how elections are ran. Eight days later, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made the decision to move the game and the upcoming amateur draft out of the state entirely.
Kendrick added the All-Star Game festivities was supposed to honor the life of the late Hank Aaron, who passed away in Jan. 22.
“I think [mixing sports and politics is dangerous]. That’s my real theme of concern for this decision,” Kendrick said. “I believe we ought to be above politics in our sport. In an absolute state of fairness, our country politically is a 50/50 country at this point with strong feelings all around. Whatever a sport may do to take a position in a political matter, the result thereof is an alienation to the point of the folks whose politics are different from those that would be pleased by a decision.
“Doesn’t matter what the decision is. My view is we as major league sports, we as Major League Baseball, I think we ought to be above active-duty political. I’m not against political activity. Obviously, I’m known to have political views. Most of the team owners have political views. Of course we don’t all think alike, just like any group. I just think we’ve allowed politics of the moment to invade America’s Game and I don’t think that’s a healthy decision in the long run.”
Later on Monday, it was reported that the game would be moved to Denver.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.