The Boston Red Sox did a totally cool thing Thursday night for their LGBT Pride night vs. the Detroit Tigers when they painted the team’s logo in rainbow colors as a decal on the pitching mound prior to the game.
This led to a surprising backlash from some fans who — in their comments on the team’s Instagram page — showed why such nights are necessary. I say surprising because these such nights have become so routine and non-controversial that 24 of the 30 MLB teams have similar events this year. Here is a sample of the negative reaction:
- Wait when’s the straight night?
- So we gonna have a straight night now too?
- Can we please start a straight white male club already?
- I don’t agree with celebrating pride. You don’t see all the straight people in the world running around with their own flag and special events and nights. And if they did well I can’t say I’d support that either! I don’t dislike gay people at all. Just the fact that some of them need to rub it in the whole world and face all the time! So I’m not homophobic at all.
- We watch baseball for the game not to politicize someone’s choice of who they date or marry. How about the Red Sox promote real marriage between a man and a woman also if they are going to do the other.
- Where’s the pride night for normal, married men and women that have children and are a family? It’s a two-way street.
- As a storied and highly successful organization, this is quite possibly the WORST promotion you have ever ran.
There were many comments supporting the team and LGBT people and knocking down the arguments from people who swear they’re not homophobic, even though they took time to make derogatory comments about the team’s decision to host a Pride night.
These comments, in one the most liberal regions in the country, reflect the need for teams to embrace all their fans. As for when “straight night” is, that’s the other 80 home games.
I got a kick out of the person who wrote: “Gentleman, the one safe haven we still had is gone. It was a good run but now it’s over. R.I.P. sport.” Where has he been all the other years the Red Sox hosted Pride nights? And the idea that sports is a “haven” for straight people — and, by inference, men — is something that had been historically true but is an area where attitudes have dramatically changed as more athletes have come out and teams recognize their LGBT fan base.
The 910 (and counting) comments are three times what any other recent post on the team’s Instagram account has received, which shows LGBT rights remain a contentious issue in sports. Good on the Red Sox for hosting the event and featuring it on social media.