All But One MLB Team Hosting Pride Nights This Season
By The Associated Press
Published [hour]:[minute] [AMPM] [timezone], [monthFull] [day], [year]
All but one of the 30 Major League Baseball teams are hosting Pride Nights this season, with most events taking place during Pride Month. These events celebrate and support LGBTQ+ culture and rights.
The Texas Rangers are the only team without a Pride Night. However, the team has expressed its commitment to making everyone feel welcome at all games.
Have the Rangers Ever Hosted a Pride Night?
No, the Rangers have never hosted a Pride Night. In September 2003, two years after the Chicago Cubs hosted what is considered the first Pride game, the Rangers invited local LGBTQ+ groups to a game as part of a fundraising event. This was similar to their practice of inviting various groups throughout each season. While there were some protests and opposition from Rangers fans before the game, it was not widespread.
What Do the Rangers Say About Not Hosting a Pride Night?
The team has consistently stated that their commitment is to make everyone feel welcome and included in Rangers baseball. This commitment extends to their ballpark, every game, and all their activities. The Rangers deliver on this promise through numerous programs that have a positive impact on the entire community.
What Role Could Texas Politics Play in the Decision?
Texas has been dominated by Republicans for a generation, and state lawmakers, along with Governor Greg Abbott, have joined the push from many conservative states to limit LGBTQ+ rights. The recent passage of laws expanding definitions of prohibited sexual content in public performances and school books has raised concerns among activists. They fear these measures could be used to target drag shows and ban LGBTQ+ literature from libraries and classrooms.
Texas has also become the most populous state to ban gender-affirming care for minors. Additionally, starting in 2024, Texas public universities must dismantle diversity, equity, and inclusion offices and training. Governor Abbott has also signed the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” which bars transgender college athletes from competing on teams that match their gender identity.
Given this conservative political landscape, there is less outside resistance in the Rangers’ home market to their decision of not having a Pride Night. It is worth noting that Rangers majority owner Ray C. Davis has made significant donations to Texans for Greg Abbott.
Why Do the Houston Astros Have a Pride Night, But the Rangers Do Not?
The Houston Astros hosted their first Pride Night in 2021. Houston, the state’s most-populated city, is one of the biggest strongholds for Democrats in Texas. Another Democratic stronghold is Dallas, which is not far from the Rangers’ home ballpark in Arlington. The majority of elected officials in Houston and Dallas are Democrats.