I write to you not as a member of one political party but as a member of a sports fan club. I write to you disappointed, discouraged and upset at what transpired over this past week with regards to Major League Baseball's All-Star game that was scheduled for July in Atlanta but was subsequently removed following Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signing a new voting bill, SB 202.
I am disheartened that my favorite team, the Atlanta Braves, will no longer be front and center with the baseball world watching this summer.
What would have been the city's first time hosting the all-star game since 2000, we now must wonder if we will ever get a chance to host the game's brightest stars in any sport, much less baseball.
I am disappointed that the Braves will now have this cloud hanging over the team and organization all season, in the midst of a drive towards contending for a World Series title; the team's 0-3 start not withstanding. This was a year centered on excitement and high expectations. Now there is a potential cloud of controversy that will linger all season.
But the Braves have the right mindset to weather this early-season storm.
The organization undoubtedly feels the pain of not being able to be part of a celebration that would have showcased the team's beautiful park and facility.
Manager Brian Snitker had the right mindset when he addressed the media before Saturday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
“I'm going to get out front of it. I'm disappointed it's not going to be there, but I'm focused on playing baseball and what we've got going on this season. Other than being disappointed, that's pretty much all I'm going to say about it. I'm just ready to talk baseball,” Snitker said.
He made a statement that firmly addresses his disappointment and then move on, which he did. Let the political pundits discuss this issue away from the field.
To have something as awesome as being able to host an all-star game taken away without debate, trial, hearing or say-so from the Braves is devastating. But on the other hand, maybe this becomes a rallying cry for the team.
With seemingly the political world and much of the sports world against you, the only people that they can rely on is those in that locker room and in the dugout. It is a sad time for these Braves, but how they react will dictate how successful this season can become.
Are we disappointed today? Absolutely. But in a 162-game season, there's a lot of new days ahead.