The first sight anyone experienced headed to Dodger Stadium for Pride Night were thousands of protestors holding signs falsely claiming that the Dodgers were engaged in anti-Christian “bigotry.”
Those claims stem from the team’s celebration of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence — a philanthropic non-profit that has satirical nuns tending to the needy — with a Community Hero Award.
Inside the stadium, it was a fun night with nary a whisper of the protests. The Sisters were honored, and others were celebrated including team owners and LGBTQ legends Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss, as well as MLB vice-president Billy Bean.
The 5-year-old son of Olympian Tom Daley and filmmaker Dustin Lance Black threw out the opening pitch.
While concern had surfaced that the Sisters — in their Dodger-blue outfits — would be harassed, there were no reports of harassment or any altercations whatsoever.
Dodgers Pride Night was, despite all of the screaming in the weeks leading up to it, remarkably uneventful.
Despite some people like Florida Governor Ron Desantis simply lying about attendance at Pride Night, not only was the stadium not “virtually empty,” but attendance was slightly higher than their season average. To be sure, there were empty seats. If I had to guess, the stadium at its maximum was about 85% full. Welcome to baseball.
And while, yes, the seats were pretty empty during the pre-game ceremony with the Sisters, that was held more than an hour before the game started, and the bars and concourses were packed.
Plus, every single player and umpire wore a team cap with the team logo in Pride rainbow. Every single person on the field that night. Given MLB’s latest initiative to dissuade teams from wearing Pride logos, the Dodgers, San Francisco Giants and umpires did something incredible with their caps.
That included Clayton Kershaw, who spoke out against the Sisters and said he had no problem with Pride Night. Real leadership from Kershaw...
Huge kudos to everyone involved.
At the end of the night there was a spectacular drone show, with images of Pride rainbows, Elton John and Billie Jean King.
With all the worry, and all the police, and all the concern headed into the game, the night was a wonderful celebration of the LGBTQ community and the inclusive environment the Dodgers have built.