Over the last five years, one of the ties binding the World Series champions has been a strong connection to the LGBT community. Each of the last five champs has gone out of its way to embrace the LGBT community, often beyond a well-orchestrated Pride Night.
Here’s the rundown:
San Francisco Giants, 2012 & 2014
The Giants have been friends of the LGBT community for years. In 2015 the Giants were one of two MLB teams to sign an amicus brief supporting same-sex marriage. In 2013 owner Larry Baer talked with The Last Closet. In 2011 the team was one of the first pro teams to create an It Gets Better video. Even back in 2004 the Giants hosted an LGBT Singles Night Out.
Boston Red Sox, 2013
The Red Sox have a long history with the LGBT community, dating all the way back to working with the hit show ‘Queer Eye For The Straight Guy’ in 2005. In one episode players Johnny Damon, Kevin Millar, Doug Mirabelli, Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek got make-overs. Yes, you read that right. The team has an openly gay executive, David Baggs, and hosts a very successful annual Pride Night.
Kansas City Royals, 2015
The Royals are another team with an openly gay executive. Matt Schulte came out publicly in 2014, inspired by the team’s playoff run that year. That preceded what would be a World Series title the following year. The year of their World Series win, the team hosted an LGBT Day.
Chicago Cubs, 2016
The Cubs are one of the biggest proponents of the LGBT community in professional sports. The team has hosted more Pride Nights than any other pro team. The Cubs also boast an openly LGBT owner, Laura Ricketts.
The Houston Astros have virtually no connection to the community. The team hasn’t hosted a Pride Night in years. While former Astros player Lance Berkman actively fought against LGBT equality in Houston a couple years ago, the team was quiet.
That’s a big contrast with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team has hosted a successful, over-the-top Pride Night for several seasons, this year hosting by far the largest Pride Night in professional sports history, selling 7,000 tickets and featuring a record seven gay couples on the Kiss Cam that night. The team has embraced the community in various other ways and boasts one of the most powerful openly gay executives in professional sports, Erik Braverman.
You might be able to guess whom Outsports is cheering for this World Series.