Sean Doolittle, the World Series champion Washington Nationals pitcher, said he decided not to join his team’s celebration with President Trump at the White House Monday, in part, because Doolittle is an ally to the LGBTQ community.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Doolittle said that his wife, Eireann Dolan, was raised by two mothers who “are very involved in the LGBTQ community.”
“I want to show support for them,” Doolittle said. “I think that’s an important part of allyship, and I don’t want to turn my back on them.”
He hasn’t been shy about his support for the community, either. During Pride, Doolittle and his wife promoted the Nats’ Night OUT game and LGBTQ charity organizations benefiting from the event.
This Tuesday the @Nationals are hosting their annual Night OUT. We’d love to see you all there supporting the Nats and all the local groups like @SMYALDMV who work so hard to build safe and inclusive spaces for LGBTQ young people in DC. Buy tix here: https://t.co/Zjm0h6FOnL pic.twitter.com/u1iEY71Z7Y— Eireann Dolan (@EireannDolan) June 1, 2019
While Doolittle disagrees with many of Trump’s social policies — especially as Doolittle and his wife have worked with refugees from countries that Trump allegedly dismissed as “shitholes” — Doolittle said his decision not to attend ultimately rested on Trump’s “divisive rhetoric and the enabling of conspiracy theories and widening the divide in this country.”
Among his numerous anti-LGBTQ policies, the Trump administration has repeatedly argued that anti-LGBTQ discrimination should be allowed as a form of “religious freedom”.
Doolittle added that he didn’t want his decision to be a distraction or a signal of disrespect towards his teammates who accepted the president’s invitation to the White House.
Doolittle’s wife first highlighted her two moms in a March 2015 blogpost leading up to the Oakland A’s first-ever Pride night. At the time, Dolan was dating Doolittle, and he was the A’s closer. Her two moms were excited to attend Pride Night, as big fans of Oakland and the visiting San Diego Padres. Dolan wrote:
My biological mom Kathy and her partner Elise (who grew up in the Bay Area) are both die-hard A’s fans as well as super gay. Like, they’re so gay for each other that they’ve fostered a long-term loving relationship likely no different from any heterosexual loving relationships you’ve seen or been a part of.
My moms are transplant San Diegans living amongst all of the San Diego Padres fans. The team the Athletics will play (and beat) on Pride Night? The San Diego Padres. This night was made for them.
When some A’s season ticket holders voiced their opposition to the Pride Night event, Dolan offered to buy their seats and she donated over 900 tickets to the Bay Area Youth Center’s Our Space community for LGBTQ youth and other local LGBTQ charities, with Doolittle matching her dollar for dollar.
She also started a GofundMe campaign that raised over $40,000 for Our Space, AIDS Project East Bay and San Francisco’s Frameline LGBTQ film festival. She personally donated $3,000 to the fundraiser, which ultimately raised more than $38,000.
On Monday, Dolan tweeted in defense of her husband’s decision to skip the White House celebration.
I mean this as diplomatically as possible, but anyone still upset about our plans on a Monday afternoon can kick rocks. His teammates respect him, he respects his teammates. He didn’t want to attend and be seen as a distraction during their visit, so I support Sean’s choice.— Eireann Dolan (@EireannDolan) November 3, 2019