OAN’s Roy Francis
11:03 AM – Tuesday, June 20, 2023
The Texas Rangers are the only team in Major League Baseball to not hold a Pride Night, which has led some employees and former employees to direct criticism at the team and its ownership.
The Rangers will host a Choctaw Casinos & Resorts night, a Harry Potter night, and community nights such as Abilene Christian University day and Vegan day, that are advertised as a “chance to experience Globe Life Field with others who share a common interest.”
However, they will not hold a Pride Night unlike all the other teams in the league, a “tradition” that MLB teams adopted in 2001 beginning with the Chicago Cubs.
In 2003, the Rangers attempted to host a Pride Night, and had invited several LGBT groups to celebrate at the stadium. However, after Rangers fans had expressed concerns and did not support the idea, the team decided to cancel future celebrations.
A former employee, speaking under anonymity, criticized the team for their decision saying that not holding pride festivities has always been something that bothered the employee.
“(The silence) is deafening,” the employee said. “The fact of the matter is it’s a free marketing opportunity, it doesn’t cost them anything personally and they can boost revenue by looking inclusive. The fact that there hasn’t been one (for Texas), is the biggest ‘actions speak louder than words’ I’ve ever seen. The fact that there’s so much resistance is a huge point of contention, not just for the gay folks, but for everyone. It was always something that bothered me greatly about the organization. They do a lot of things well, where they have all these other nights for different fans and cultures. The fact that they omit one group very clearly is just ridiculous.”
Another employee blamed the ownership of the team.
“When you have someone so opposed at the top,” the employee said. “It creates this spillover effect that, even though most of the organization I think wants it to happen, or at least isn’t vehemently opposed to it, it’s just this dark cloud that’s signifying it’s OK to treat this group of people like s—.”
The team released a statement over the weekend din response to the criticism they have received.
“Our commitment is to make everyone feel welcome and included in Rangers baseball,” the statement read. “That means in our ballpark, at every game, and in all we do – for both our fans and our employees. We deliver on that promise across our many programs to have a positive impact across our entire community.”
In contrast, the Los Angeles Dodgers had held their Pride Night and had invited a group called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, in order to honor them. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are “a queer and trans group that uses religious imagery and mocks Catholicism to call attention to sexual intolerance,” according to the New York Post.
The events by the Dodgers were met with protests.
On Friday, protestors had filled the streets surrounding the Dodgers stadium as the team conducted their festivities. They refused to enter the stadium while the group was being honored.
Footage from the inside the stadium showed mostly empty seats as the group was presented with the “community hero award.”
Several Dodgers players have expressed their disapproval of the decision by the team. Pitchers Clayton Kershaw, and Blake Treinen were among those players, along with Washington Nationals’ Trevor Williams.
“I think we were always going to do Christian Faith Day this year, but I think the timing of our announcement was sped up,” Kershaw told the Los Angeles Times. “Picking a date and doing those different things was part of it as well. Yes, it was in response to the highlighting of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.”
“I am disappointed to see the Sister’s [sic] of Perpetual Indulgence being honored as heroes at Dodger Stadium,” Treinen said in a statement released on Twitter by his friend Sean Feucht. “Many of their performances are blasphemous, and their work only displays hate and mockery of Catholics and the Christian faith. This group openly mocks Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of my faith,” he added. “And I want to make it clear that I do not agree with nor support the decision of the Dodger’s to ‘honor’ the Sister’s of Perpetual Indulgence.”
The Rangers have been applauded by many, including the Texas Family Project for their stance.
“People just want to watch baseball,” Brady Gray, a board member for Texas Family Project said. “To the vast majority of fans, Rangers’ decision to buck the trend of celebrating sexuality is a breath of fresh air.”
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