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Civil rights groups call for Masters, MLB All-Star Game, film industry to boycott Georgia over election law

FILE - In this April 4, 2007, file photo, cloudy skies appear above the clubhouse at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File) (David J. Phillip, AP 2007)

CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. – From sports to Hollywood, Georgia’s new election reform law is causing a stir.

Some civil rights groups are calling for the Masters Tournament, Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game and the film industry to boycott the state of Georgia.

This comes after the state passed its election reform law last week. The Republican-backed measure puts new voting restrictions in place.

Some Georgia voters believe the new bill provides election security, while others feel it’s voter suppression. Local activists say the law hurts minority voters and feel it’s crucial to look at pulling major events from the state.

The National Black Justice Coalition is calling on the PGA Tour and the Masters to pull the event that is scheduled for next week in Augusta. The group is also urging pro golfers to refuse to play in the state.

The MLB All-Star Game is set for Atlanta this summer, but the players’ union is now open to discussing the possibility of moving the game.

Even Hollywood directors are speaking out, such as James Mangold, known for movies like “Walk the Line,” who tweeted: “I will not direct a film in Georgia.”

Fer-Rell Maloan Sr. is the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southeast Georgia. He feels boycotting is the right thing to do.

“The only thing that we understand that racist white people listen to is money,” said Maloan.

The new law has many provisions, including adding new voter ID requirements for absentee voting, limiting the number of drop boxes, giving the state more power over local election boards and making it a crime to give food and water to voters in line.

Calling for The Masters, baseball's All Star Game, and the film industry to boycott the state of Georgia. That's what some civil rights activists are hoping will happen after the state passed its election reform law. News4Jax Reporter Corley Peel joins us live from Camden County to show us what local voters and civil rights groups are saying about the reactions to the law.

“I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to have people to show their ID to vote. I think it’s important,” said Sean Grey, who supports the election reform law.

Barbara Purvis, who is opposed to the law, said: “I think that we as the people get out and do our part and make sure these changes don’t cause any problems for us.”

News4Jax political analyst Rick Mullaney said it’s not unheard of for boycott talks like this to have an impact.

“What you’re going to have to do is take a look at the actual legislation, look at the actual provisions and who is going to win the argument? Is this about security and integrity or is this about voter suppression?” said Mullaney.

At this time, no changes have been made with the events where groups are calling for boycotts.


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