The Texas Rangers are the only MLB team not to have Pride night celebrating the LGBTQ community this June.
“Our goal is for everyone to feel welcome and included in Rangers baseball. That means at our stadium, in every game and in everything we do — both for our fans and for our staff,” the team said in a statement emailed to HuffPost when asked for comment. “We’re delivering on that promise across our many programs to make a positive impact across our community.”
The Rangers said they create a “welcoming, inclusive and supportive environment for fans and staff,” citing various events the team is involved in such as sponsoring the 2022 NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series and attending events with the Resource Center, a Dallas-based LGBTQ community and health center.
The 29 other MLB teams that host Pride nights plan to join in celebrating the LGBTQ community in different waysThis included giving away Pride fanny packs, throwing fireworks, and putting rainbows on team uniforms.
MLB has faced fans threatening to boycott teams’ Pride nights as anti-gay and anti-transgender alarmism and legislation spreads in state legislatures.
As the Los Angeles Dodgers first announced The organizations that invited them to Pride Night on June 16 upset Catholic groups and politicians at the inclusion of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a San Francisco-based performance group in which drag performers dress up as nuns.
The Dodgers rescinded their invitation, causing other organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and LA Pride to drop out in solidarity. The team eventually invited the organization back. Following the backlash, former Vice President Mike Pence tweeted that inviting the group, which he said was “blatantly mocking Catholicism,” was “insulting.”
The absence of a Pride night on the Texas Rangers schedule reflects the state leadership’s stance on LGBTQ issues. On Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed legislation banning gender-based tutoring of transgender minors. Last year, Abbott ordered an investigation into parents of trans children but was later stopped by a Texas judge.
In 2018 the Dallas Observer said Rangers are a “safe space” for conservatives after pointing out that Rangers TV broadcaster CJ Nitkowski liked a photo from the Proud Boys’ Twitter account and claimed it was sexist Tweets got into a feud.
The Texas Rangers will host many themed nights during the 2023 season, including a teacher appreciation night, a night honoring first responders, and a Margaritaville-style night where fans will receive a Rangers-style Hawaiian jersey.