Baseball’s World Sequence is now not simply the Fall Traditional because it’s all the time been identified. This 12 months’s match-up ought to as an alternative be judged as one in all two “exemplary LGBTQ-friendly groups,” says SB Nation Outsports author Ken Schultz. The followers of each groups are winners as a result of each franchises are aggressively catering to their respective LGBTQ fan bases and communities.
Schultz introduces his alphabet-friendly puff piece by writing, “The 2020 World Sequence has come right down to the 2 finest groups in baseball: the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays. Fortunately, that’s not simply on the sector. As every workforce’s current historical past demonstrates, the Dodgers and Rays are each top-of-the-line franchises in the case of uplifting their respective LGBTQ fan bases and communities.”
Awarding LGBTQ alphabet factors to every workforce in separate break-downs, Schultz started with the Dodgers. And he doesn’t dwell on L.A.’s mighty pitcher Clayton Kershaw or sluggers Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger. Not when the Dodgers’ outreach to the LGBTQ neighborhood is so deep and gifted. It is a mannequin for the remainder of MLB, Schultz relates.
The Dodgers have been one of many first baseball groups succumbing to stress to characteristic Delight Nights, hosting what is believed to be the first Gay and Lesbian Night in August of 2000.
Credit score for the genius of the Dodgers Delight Night time goes to L.A.’s gay Senior Vice President Eric Braverman. He made the promotion a showcase to roll out the crimson carpet in honor of its LGBTQ fan base, together with out-of-the-closet celebrities like Glee’s Dot Marie Jones, Olympian Gus Kenworthy and others. Los Angeles shattered a significant league report — not for any hitting or pitching hallmarks — however by selling 12,000 Pride Night ticket packages in 2019. Cooperstown, did you catch that?
Schultz raves in regards to the Dodgers’ activism going nicely past an annual Delight Night time. They’ve sponsored the final two Outsports Pride occasions, and final week they invited gay and former outfielder Billy Bean, present vice chairman and particular assistant to the commissioner, to talk to their entrance workplace on Spirit Day.
Ring up these alphabet factors, however there’s extra the place all that got here from! In 2018, the Dodgers “made the LGBTQ equal of the Mookie Betts commerce” by including lesbian former tennis nice Billie Jean King (at left in above photo) and her partner Ilana Kloss (at proper in picture) as minority house owners. 40,000 fortunate followers obtained King bobblehead dolls to have a good time the large occasion.
The sheer quantity of LGBTQ positivity from the Dodgers is downright daunting, Schultz raves.
For the Rays, we are able to dispense with on-field stars Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow and Brandon Lowe and give attention to the workforce’s glowing delight report.
Final season, Tampa’s lesbian Mayor Jane Castor, threw out the primary pitch at a recreation. “The Rays additionally commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of Stonewall by displaying a particular historic exhibit in regards to the riots at the side of Equality Florida,” Schultz gushed.
In 2015, the Rays have been one of many three professional sports activities groups that signed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of marriage equality. That was the 12 months the Excessive Courtroom usurped the legislative course of by forcing same-sex marriage on your complete nation. In 2019, the Rays and San Francisco Giants supported an amicus transient in help of LGBTQ rights within the office.
Schultz recollects that final 12 months’s World Sequence was a narrative of fine information/dangerous information. The profitable Washington Nationals have been extremely LGBTQ pleasant, however the shedding Houston Astros “did not even hassle to host a Delight Night time.”
The Rays and Dodgers each should be celebrated for a way they’ve embraced their LGBTQ followers, Schultz says. “Let’s hope we are able to maintain saying that about each Fall Traditional sooner or later.”