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EXCLUSIVE: Brian Kemp predicts a backlash over MLB withdrawal from Atlanta


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Washington Examiner

Salena Zito

April 07, 2021

Joe Cobb was born with both Georgia and baseball in his blood. He is related to both the Detroit Tigers legend Ty Cobb and to Thomas Willis Cobb, the founder of the suburban Atlanta county where the Braves now play.

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“I am not done because of me," says Cobb. "I am done because of all of the small businesses that have lost the equivalent to Christmas. This is for the Uber drivers, street vendors, food trucks, breweries, restaurants, parking lot attendants who were all depending on this three-day event to bolster their income.”

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“If you think about the industries that have been hit the hardest in Georgia because of COVID ... it's the business travel, the tourism, and then all the service industry tied to them like small restaurants, taverns, the hotel, lodging folks, caterers, and event people," he said. "I mean, those are all the folks, to me, that are going to be just at a big loss here because Major League Baseball pulled the rug out from under them. It is all very unfortunate.”

Cobb tells me he has read the law. “I was a history teacher for two decades, he says. "And even though I didn't live through Jim Crow, I have a pretty good understanding what it is. And, in fact, my daughter was asking me about it, and I said, 'Jim Crow, that's snarling dogs. They would hang a lynched body outside of the voting place to convince people of color not to come there and vote. That's Jim Crow.'”

Cobb, a libertarian who held little regard for former President Donald Trump’s persona, had drifted far enough away from Republicanism that he found himself voting in last year's Democratic presidential primary. But now, Kemp has earned his support simply by refusing to give in to the corporate pressure that came not just from MLB but also from Coke and Delta Air Lines.

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Kemp said he is not going to back down under any amount of corporate pressure. “I'm not going to waver, because I know what the truth is. I know how much work went into this bill. I know how many different proposals were out there. Some of them were good. Some of them were bad, but at the end of the day, there was a lot of work put in that made this process work. We have a good bill here. I believe that's what we're supposed to do.”

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