The New York Yankees have been one of two holdouts in Major League Baseball by not holding an LGBTQ Pride event, but a report says this might change in 2019.
Andy Martino of SNY.TV, a longtime Yankees writer, cites sources saying the Yankees will hold an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, an event that helped usher in the modern LGBTQ rights movement.
According to major league sources, the Yankees have been quietly planning significant events for next season to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a seminal event in both the history of LGBTQ rights and New York City.
While a Yankees spokesman said it was too early to confirm any specifics of the 2019 promotional calendar, other sources said that the team continues to work out details of Stonewall-centered events. Specifics have not been finalized, but I hear that the final plan is likely to include activities both inside and outside the ballpark.
The Yankees and Angels are the only two teams to never have had a Pride-related event. A report last month said the Angels are planning an event in 2019. This season, 25 of the 30 MLB teams had such a night.
The Yankees have been taking flack for the past year since the New York Times highlighted their refusal to hold an LGBTQ event. The team’s reasons were that they don’t hold theme nights for anyone. I never took this stubbornness as being anti-LGBTQ since the Yankees have worked with Billy Bean, an MLB diversity executive and former player who is gay, but rather the Yankees being their superior selves.
“But the Yanks are also determined to do things their way, and at their pace,” Martino writes. “Whether by stubbornness, social conscience — or, to my eye, a mixture of both — the team was not going to immediately bow to pressure to fall in line. ... The Yankees focused on the Stonewall anniversary as a way to push the standard Pride Nights to a deeper level. ... The view from here is that, while the Yankees could make it easier on themselves by simply saying, ‘sure, we’ll become the 30th team to hold a Pride Night,’ they are attempting something more original, and with more interaction in the community.”
The proof will be in what the Yankees eventually come up with. With the Stonewall riots turning 50 next year, the anniversary may have given the team a graceful way to join all the other MLB teams in recognizing Pride without seeming like they’re bowing to pressure,