The New York Yankees officially kicked off its tribute to the LGBTQ community Wednesday with a meeting at Yankee Stadium between its foundation, New York City education officials and representatives from the Stonewall Inn.
The team’s plan is to award $50,000 in scholarships at an event next month at the Stonewall Inn and honor the recipients and other LGBTQ dignitaries at a pre-game ceremony on June 25.
“The events leading up to and including the June 25th game are designed to shine a light on the LGBT community using layers of activation, designed to support and showcase diversity and inclusion,” Jason Zillo, Yankees spokesperson, told Outsports by phone. The team says details on other events celebrating WorldPride and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising will be rolled out in the weeks ahead, but the team confirmed that as of press time, it’s not labeling any events as “Pride Night.”
The $50,000 Yankees-Stonewall Scholars Initiative. as announced by the Yankees in a statement emailed to Outsports and other media on Tuesday, is also aimed at commemorating the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. The statement says the panel was to begin work Wednesday on selecting 25 NYC public school students who have “demonstrated academic achievement, a commitment to equality and impactful support for the LGBTQ community.”
There will be five finalists from the Bronx and five from each of the city’s other four boroughs, and they will meet with the panel at the end of the month. The five winners of the $10,000 scholarships representing each borough will be chosen by April 30th.
Then the winners will be announced at an event at the Stonewall Inn sometime in May, alongside Yankees senior vice president and general manager Brian Cashman and senior vice president and assistant general manager Jean Afterman.
Finally, the Yankees-Stonewall Scholarship winners will gather at Yankee Stadium on June 25 for a pregame ceremony prior to the team’s 7:05 p.m. game vs. the Toronto Blue Jays.
According to the statement by the Yankees, this ceremony will include representatives from the LGBTQ community, the New York City Department of Education, New York City government and the Stonewall Inn, and “will also recognize the legacy of the Stonewall Uprising and WorldPride 2019,” which is taking place the weekend that follows, June 28, 29 and 30.
Again, as of press time, the Yankees have not designated this event as a “Pride Night,” but they’re not the only MLB team doing so. The Detroit Tigers, for example, are sponsoring a “Pride Pack” event on June 26, selling a special package that includes a rainbow-brimmed cap, with part of the proceeds going to a local LGBTQ charity. The Atlanta Braves are doing something similar. The Rangers and Astros are not holding any kind of pride event.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated to include comments from a spokesperson for the Yankees and other information from the team.