"Remember the turtle," a boss once said to me. I had to ask him to explain. "We're like turtles," he replied. "The turtle can't move forward without sticking its head out of its shell."
Pride Nights have been Major League Baseball's slow motion effort to move forward in support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights. The first event was held 16 years ago by the Tampa Bay Rays. In 2022 two of baseball's thirty professional teams are not hosting Pride Nights. Sadly, the iconic New York Yankees being one.
The Yankees crosstown rivals, the Mets, however, just held their largest and most successful Pride Night, their sixth annual event. Members of the gay community were pleased with the full support of the team's management for a program that was well organized and supported by comments of several players and their manager, Buck Showalter. One player, Mark Canha, tweeted that he welcomed "his beautiful LGBTQ fans" to the Mets Pride Night.
Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants jointly celebrated a Pride Night at in the same game in San Francisco. The Dodgers previously held their pride night in Los Angeles, in which they honored the legacy of Glenn Burke, the first openly gay major league player. The Oakland Athletics honored Burke, as well. The team honored their alumnus by naming their event in his memory. The online magazine, The Athletic, reported during the week that one major league free agent, pitcher Liam Hendriks, based off-season signing decision at least partly on whether a prospective team was planning to hold a Pride Night.
All did not go well, however, in Tampa Bay. Five of the team's players refused to participate, citing religious objections, and declined to wear rainbow colored caps and arm patches. Symbolically, they ripped the patches off their uniforms and wore the team's traditional cap. Ironically, two of the five players, all pitchers, participated in the evening's game and were responsible for the team's loss.