(LifeSiteNews) — Multiple outlets are now reporting that Major League Baseball has instructed teams to not wear LGBT-themed apparel during June. The directive was apparently handed down earlier this year but was not publicly known until this month.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times first reported on June 9 that the Tampa Bay Rays were not going to have rainbow patches on their jerseys and hats for their “Pride Night” game.
“The Rays changed their plan for this year’s celebration after teams were told at an owners meeting in February that MLB did not want uniform space used to promote specific causes that were not league-driven, such as for Mother’s Day or to honor Jackie Robinson,” Topkin reported.
He also explained that Billy Bean, the league’s senior vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, told him he was pleased with the team’s compliance.
“I think, to the Rays’ credit, after some meaningful conversations, they listened to the suggestion of this office,” Bean allegedly said.
LifeSite reached out to Topkin and Major League Baseball to confirm that commissioner Rob Manfred had issued the order. Topkin said he stands by his reporting. League offices are yet to return LifeSite’s email or voicemail message sent on Friday, June 16.
Chelsea Jones is a baseball reporter for the Washington Post. On Twitter earlier this month, she reported that Manfred is allowing teams to hold “Pride Nights” if they wish but instructed them to not wear LGBT-themed attire.
“We have told teams, in terms of actual uniforms, hats, bases that we don’t think putting logos on them is a good idea just because of the desire to protect players,” Manfred said, according to Jones.
Here's the thing. I understand if MLB doesn't want to mandate Pride night. I think it would send a meaningful message to many people if they did, but I get how these leagues and owners are. But actively discouraging teams who might want to wear jerseys in support https://t.co/1V7zwkb1oK
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) June 15, 2023
The Los Angeles Dodgers received massive blowback from Catholics and non-Catholics last week for honoring a blasphemous group of drag “nuns” called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence before its “Pride Night” game. Thousands of people attended a rally outside Dodger Stadium to protest the game. The Dodgers and San Francisco Giants were allowed to wear LGBT jerseys this year due to preexisting agreements with MLB.
Cyd Zeigler of the pro-LGBT website OutSports is also reporting that league offices sent a memo to teams in March indicating that there were 10 “league-wide” days of observance for the 2023 season, and that “Pride Night” was not one of them. In other words, “pride” games are not being mandated by the league and are decided by each owner.
And as always, baseball is for everyone. pic.twitter.com/RH7MJJV4mp
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) June 10, 2023
Five players for the Tampa Bay Rays courageously refused to wear rainbow-themed jerseys during last year’s “Pride Night,” for which they were called “bigots” by ESPN commentator Sarah Spain. 29 teams have “Pride Nights” scheduled this season. The only franchise that has consistently refused to hold one is the Texas Rangers, who are based in Arlington, near Dallas. The first team to host a “pride” game was the Chicago Cubs in 2001.