Detroit’s Sports Teams Rebuke Possible Voter Suppression Laws
All four major Detroit sports teams have signed a joint letter rebuking possible voter suppression in the state of Michigan. Detroit Lions CEO Ron Wood and Detroit Pistons’ Vice Chairman Arn Tellem signed the letter along Christopher Illitch, representing multiple businesses that include the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers. This comes as legislators look at rolling back voting access provisions, including absentee ballots for all, that Michigan voters approved by a 2-1 margin in 2018.
The letter was also signed by CEOs and executives at major companies in the state, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, General Motors, Ford, and more.
Part of the letter lays out the thoughts of the executives:
The right to vote is a sacred, inviolable right of American citizens.
• Our democracy is strongest when we have the greatest level of participation by our citizens in a representative government.
• We are committed to encouraging our team members to exercise their right to vote and provide accommodations to do so.
• Safe and secure options to vote are vital to ensuring voter participation.
• Government must support equitable access to the ballot to ensure that all eligible voters can exercise their rights.
• Government must avoid actions that reduce participation in elections – particularly among historically disenfranchised communities, persons with disabilities, older adults, racial minorities and low-income voters.
• Government has a responsibility to continuously improve and strengthen election administration, because public faith in the security and integrity of our elections is fundamental.
• Election laws must be developed in a bipartisan fashion to preserve public confidence in our elections and to preserve the values of democracy.
The teams and companies have taken a stand after Georgia lawmakers recently passed a law that seems to target minorities and people of color in reducing their options to cast a ballot.
Many companies in Georgia have since come out against the new laws and said that they simply make it too difficult for some people to vote, those companies include Delta & Coca Cola. Major league baseball has also decided to move the 2021 all star game from Atlanta to Denver as a show of support to those that oppose the voting restrictions.