Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Orioles Did Pride Night Exactly How a Team Should

The Baltimore Orioles hosted their Pride Night, and they went all out to show that baseball is a sport for everyone.

In case you missed it, the Baltimore Orioles were beat by the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday night, 11-7.

Some might have missed it, because the O's social media team decided to switch things up that night. Instead of the usual tweet-by-tweet game updates, they used their platform to do something not a lot of teams would have done: share facts and figures regarding LGBTQ+ issues.

Along with a moving Twitter feed, the team also decked out the whole stadium for their Pride Night. While the Texas Rangers are still the only MLB team to never host a Pride Night, this feels like a good time to call out what a Pride Night should look like in baseball.

A Pride Night in Baltimore to Remember

A rainbow logo for the Orioles is shown on the field.

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

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There are colossal ways to screw up a night at the ballpark celebrating the queer community, as the Los Angeles Dodgers found out earlier this season. The Orioles, as the kids might say, did not miss.

It began with a simple lineup photo accompanied by the mascot holding a rainbow flag.

The O's went all in, as evidenced by the grounds crew's work on the field to rainbow decor in the seats.

Then, the Orioles told their entire following of 840,000 people on Twitter that there would be zero game coverage. Instead, followers learned things like:

  • over half of LGBTQ+ youth in middle or high school reported being bullied in person or electronically in the past year, according to The Trevor Project.
  • 1 in 10 LGBTQ+ youth have been discouraged from playing school sports due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • 48% of bi youth have considered attempting suicide in the past year, and 27% attempted suicide, according to The Trevor Project's analysis of CDC data.
  • While only 13% of the trans population in the United States is estimated to be Black, 73% of known trans homicide victims were Black women.

Resources were provided. Facts were shared. The Orioles did something amazing. They didn't just throw up a bunch of Pride flags, take a picture and give themselves a pat on the back. They used their platform to do something actually meaningful.

It was well-received by fans, too.

The Orioles first hosted a Pride Night back in 2018. Greg Bader, the O's senior vice president of administration and experience who's the highest-ranking out gay executive in all of sports, called it a resounding success despite initial fear of backlash.

"I do distinctly remember that it was kind of surreal for me to see other Orioles fans walking around with rainbow O's caps and getting to meet a whole bunch of fans that I had never met before who were part of the LGBTQ community. For me, that was a really special moment," he told OutSports.

Pride Month may have come and gone, but members of the community can take solace knowing that 29 of the 30 MLB teams hosted or are planning on hosting a Pride Night this season. Baseball is for everyone, no matter what anyone says.

MORE: The Texas Rangers Have As Many World Series Rings As Pride Nights Hosted: ZERO