Will Businesses Actually Boycott Georgia’s Insane Laws For Real This Time?

Butter ATLMarch 30, 2021

Folks are pretty upset about this voting law that was signed by Governor Kemp last week. It affects Georgia pretty significantly, in ways we’ve already talked about but you can also look into all across the country. 

The new law is seen as yet another attempt at voter suppression. Among the most troubling details of the law is the fact that the State Board of Elections can basically suspend county elections officials and give state lawmakers very broad rights to change how elections are run in Georgia. 

Yeah, that’s a lot worse that keeping folks from giving out water and snacks, and definitely trumps (no pun intended) the ability to cast absentee ballots as easily as Georgia voters did in 2020 and during the January 2021 runoffs for the U.S. Senate races. 

It may sound like new territory, but we’ve been here before, folks.

Georgia, as you and we know, is a state in the American southeast. There’s a quite famous history of southern laws being, you know, wack. Extremely wack. 

We won’t go into all of it right now, because if you don’t know what we mean you probably intentionally look away, like they suggest in that “Dixie” song some southerners just can’t stop whistling. And we won’t go into all of the legal details, other than to say the fight is just getting started

Instead, let’s take a quick look at the implications of Georgia having the new threat of economic boycotts. People are saying that there should be financial punishment for what has happened to voting rights, and they’re not necessarily leaving the blame only at Governor Kemp’s door (hopefully they realize knocking like Park Cannon did might get them charged with felonies).

So what are the vibes with boycotts in Georgia?


Luke Skywalker has come out in support of the film industry boycotting Georgia. Additionally, Ford v Ferrari director James Mangold has said that while he shot some of the car-racing movie in the state, he won’t be doing any more filming here.


Jemele Hill has entered the chat, saying that sports should boycott Georgia. In an op-ed for The Atlantic, Hill (who you may remember was once suspended by ESPN for suggesting that corporate sponsors should boycott the NFL) advocates for changing the location of the 91st Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which is scheduled to take place at Truist Park, home of the Braves. 

“Baseball can be the first to lead the way with a targeted boycott, but every league should now consider Georgia off-limits for major sporting events. Those who undermine democracy shouldn’t be rewarded for their pernicious efforts to disenfranchise people of color,” says Hill, a contributing writer at The Atlantic. 

There are also calls for the relocation of The Masters golf tournament. These demands are led by the civil rights organization National Black Justice Coalition (co-founded by progressive commentator Keith Boykin), whose executive director David L. Johns said that the tourney shouldn’t want to affiliate itself with such nonsense. 

“Professional golf should not reward Georgia’s attacks on democracy and voting rights with the millions of dollars in revenue that the tournament generates and the prestige it brings to the State. We all must act to protect our democracy and the right to vote,” Johns said in a statement published first by Golfweek.

And an opinion writer at CNN says “Just stop giving Atlanta sports stuff.” The theory is that because Atlanta is the economic engine of the state, that’ll get Kemp’s attention.


The thirst for a boycott doesn’t end with sports and entertainment. Coca-Cola is also facing boycott threats from Black clergy. Bishop Reginald Jackson leads the oldest Black religious denomination in the U.S., the African Methodist Episcopal Church. And he says all the money needs to stop flowing, even the kind that comes from soda fountains. 

Jackson told the AJC that if “Coca-Cola wants Black and brown people to drink their product, then they must speak up when our rights, our lives and our very democracy as we know it is under attack.” 

And the calls are coming from outside the state as well. As far away as Pennsylvania, a columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer says that he too believes that big businesses in ATL need to feel the economic pain of Governor Kemp’s decision to sign SB 202 into law.

“When a tough moral question arises,” writes Will Bunch, “I often ask myself what would Martin Luther King do, because his instincts in public matters were close to infallible. In this case, he told us what he would do.”

[ED NOTE: He’s referencing Dr. King’s call to boycott Coca-Cola in Memphis, just before he was assassinated.]


While a lot of folks from outside Atlanta are saying business should grind to a halt at certain companies…


A lot of people who actually live in Atlanta are saying that boycotting is actually a terrible idea. That includes folks responding to James Mangold, as well as other, more prominent voices…

To be fair, King says that it’s a whole boycott of the state that she’s against, but may be swayable when it comes to targeting specific corporations…

A Democrat running to replace Marjorie Taylor Greene agrees…

And others are sharing other ways that folks can be helpful with what they do with money…

So what should you do? Well, that’s your money and your choice. 

All we’ll say for now is that nobody should be expecting another stimmy, so be smart.

Yes, we should all stand up for our rights and use the power of the dollar when we deem it useful. Yes, we should make sure that those who are not in position to lose their jobs are not affected in ways that we are not willing to support. 

It’s complicated, just like the American political system. 

Whatever you do, don’t let anybody stop you from voting.