Pride month is almost over, and more professional sports teams hosted Pride nights than Lady Gaga has produced gay anthems. In Major League Baseball specifically, 28 of the 30 teams dedicated a night at the ballpark to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.
The ones that didn't: the New York Yankees (they don't have "themed" nights, but they did throw a "Legacy of Pride" celebration) and the Texas Rangers. Oh, the Texas Rangers. I have a glittery, rainbow bone to pick with you, Texas Rangers.
The Rangers are the only team in MLB to have never hosted a Pride Night. They have Whataburger Night and Margaritaville Night and Stranger Things Night and (oh boy!) Shark Week Night is on their 2022 calendar, but they just can't bring themselves to celebrate the queer community. Considering they've wrapped up all of their home games in June, it doesn't look like they'll be celebrating Pride at all. And last year, they were one of two teams (hello, Atlanta Braves) to seemingly intentionally omit gay phrasing from MLB's "Spirit Day," which is a campaign against bullying of LGBTQ+ youth in partnership with GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).
So, what is it with this Arlington-based team and the gays? Nobody really knows for sure exactly why (or who) is behind the decision to treat the letters LGBTQ+ like Voldemort's name, but I can tell you one thing: if you are a fan of inclusion, love and acceptance, you cannot also be a Texas Rangers fan.
A Rundown of Pro Sports Teams With Pride Nights
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The first time I read the Rangers had never hosted a Pride night, I was flabbergasted. Not as flabbergasted as I was when I read about the homophobic group of Tampa Bay Rays pitchers who refused to wear rainbows, but pretty darn close.
Why? Because it's become so normalized to host them. ESPN put out a round-up of teams hosting Pride nights in 2022, and the overall conclusion was positive: 28 MLB teams have already or will host one. The Chicago Cubs have two nights on the calendar. Other in-season leagues like the WNBA, MLS and NWSL also feature a number of teams doing the same.
The NFL is slowly becoming more queer-friendly, but Pride nights aren't really a thing because no games are played in June. Still, the Washington Commanders were the first NFL team to host a Pride Night at a game just last year. And while the NBA Finals take place in June, teams like the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves have hosted their own Pride nights.
That brings me back to the Texas Rangers. Rangers legend Michael Young once said he "guaranteed" he had a gay teammate during his baseball career. Imagine showing up to work every day, coming to your locker knowing the team that employs you maintains a stance along the lines of "we don't talk about that" when it comes to Pride.
Why the Rangers Have Never Hosted a Pride Night
As stated above, nobody for sure knows why the Rangers have never hosted a Pride Night. There has been speculation that some senior member of the front office is behind it, as one Rangers beat writer wrote. That would sure make a lot of sense because in the year 2022 it just doesn't make sense why a team would want to send the opposite message of love and acceptance.
It honestly doesn't really matter why this pitiful franchise has never been able to pin up a couple of rainbow flags for one night. What matters is that they haven't. I'm not a fan of "cancel culture," but the Texas Rangers deserve an exception to that rule. You just can't tolerate the intolerable (and no, intolerance of the intolerant is not the same thing as intolerance), not when LGBTQ+ youth are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide than their peers or when a U.S. Supreme Court Justice targets gay rights after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
If a freakin' pro sports team can't even host one single Pride night, they don't deserve your money on any other night. Don't buy merchandise, tickets. Nothing. Maybe it's ironic that the Texas Rangers have hosted the same number of Pride nights as they've won World Series: 0.
MORE: 5 Rays Players Refused to Wear Pride-Themed Uniforms. This is Why Athletes Don't Come Out
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