Major League Baseball’s division series start today with the final eight teams and one is noticeable for being only one of two teams this season to not hold a special event for its LGBTQ fans.
Many analysts’ World Series favorites, the Houston Astros, were conspicuous in not having any sort of Pride event (the Texas Rangers were the other) this season. The other remaining seven playoff teams — New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals — all held events for their LGBTQ fans.
The Astros have had only one Pride event, in 2010, and even that was fairly lackluster by all accounts. In 2018 the team held Chick-fil-A Faith and Family Night and this season had nights devoted to “Game of Thrones” and “Star Wars.” An Astros spokesperson last year said the team has has members of the LGBTQ community sing the national anthem and added that “there is no correlation between our sponsor of Faith and Family and our inclusiveness of the LGBT community.”
Houston is a very diverse city and has had a lesbian mayor, yet it’s strange that the team resists doing what 28 other teams do and have some sort of Pride event. Even the Yankees, long a holdout, had a Pride celebration this season.
In contrast, the Dodgers heavily market their Pride event with big-name guests and this year sold 12,000 tickets for their May game. Other playoff teams like the Nationals also do it up right.
As an added bonus with the Astros, star player George Springer was disciplined for using a gay slur when he called an umpire a “fucking cocksucker” this season. It was the only discipline this season for a player using a gay slur.