The lawsuit against Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association over the relocation of the All-Star Game from Georgia to Colorado isn’t simply seeking money. It also seeks a court order requiring the game to be re-relocated to Georgia.
That’s the contention made in a press release issued on Wednesday by the Job Creators Network, the plaintiff in the lawsuit filed earlier this week. A hearing in the case has been set for June 10.
“JCN and its allies are looking forward to next week’s hearing and successfully resolving this case to the satisfaction of the Greater Atlanta community,” president and CEO of the Job Creators Network, Alfredo Ortiz, said in a release. “After a year of enduring a pandemic induced recession, Atlanta metro small businesses were looking forward to the All-Star Game to help springboard their full recovery. Unfortunately the MLB gave in to the cancel culture. MLB thought it could bend the knee and escape any consequences. They were mistaken. JCN will hold them accountable and defend the small businesses who were harmed. We have a strong case, and we expect to eventually win.”
The case, as noted on Tuesday, raises questions from standing to sue to legal duty to breach of duty to provable damages. It’s no surprise that the JCN calls its case strong; it would be a surprise if the JCN said something like, “We’re just doing this for publicity.”
There’s definitely a strong publicity component. In a separate release, Ortiz chided MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred for not personally accepting service of the summons and complaint in the lawsuit — and by suggesting that this in some way constitutes a concession that the case has merit.
“MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is ducking JCN’s lawsuit by refusing to be served, a tacit admission that he dropped the ball by moving the MLB All-Star game from Atlanta,” Ortiz proclaims. “While Manfred hides out in his $6 million Upper East Side penthouse, Atlanta small business owners continue to take his decision on the chin, losing out on over $100 million in economic activity when they need it most. It’s not surprising that someone who would cave to activist lies about Georgia’s voting law would also spinelessly hide from the consequences. Manfred is behind in the count with no balls and all strikes, but he can get out of this jam by doing right by small businesses and immediately moving the All-Star game back to Atlanta where it belongs. If he refuses, it’s only a matter of time before he gets served and strikes out looking.”
However this plays out, the NFL should be paying close attention, because the constant politicization of every dispute that ever arises could be morphing into scrambling for a way to turn the issue into litigation. The irony is this case, of course, is that the pro-business groups usually clamor to decry the filing of frivolous lawsuits; the Job Creators Network has filed a lawsuit that, at least on the surface, presents real questions regarding its actual merit.