It might not “officially” be summer yet but all signs are pointing towards it. We’ve made it through one of the longest winters in recent memory and it’s finally feeling like a little bit of joy is returning to the world. And what represents joy more than a rainbow? It might appear in the aftermath of a summer storm or you might be seeing it all over your social media timelines. Soon it will even be appearing on a Major League Baseball uniform. With the calendar turning to June we officially enter into Pride month.
Baseball is far from the first sport to be participating in Pride celebrations. In fact, the NWSL and WNBA are among the leagues that are far ahead of them. But they are breaking a new barrier in their sport. When the San Francisco Giants take the field on Saturday they will be the first team in Major League history to wear all 11 colors that are associated with Pride and the LGBTQ + community on their uniforms.
Unlike the aforementioned NWSL and WNBA which are full of openly gay players, there have only ever been 2 openly gay players in MLB history to date. Glenn Burke, who played for the Dodgers from 1976-78 and later for the Athletics, wasn’t out to the general public but his teammates were well aware of his sexual orientation. Billy Bean, on the other hand, didn’t come out until 4 years after his retirement in 1999.
It’s only fitting seeing that San Francisco has long been considered one of the leading cities in the fight for equality for the members of the LGBTQ + community and is home to one of the largest openly gay populations in the country. It’s the city of Harvey Milk and The Castro and was one of the cities most devastated by the HIV/AIDS crisis in the ’80s and ’90s.
It might seem like something small or trivial but for one the “4 major sports” to openly display the colors of the Pride flag is a big statement. Especially when it’s the sport that has been criticized significantly lately for being stuck in the past and not wanting to adapt to modern audiences. I’m sure that there will be a large portion of the baseball viewing population that will hate it. No one seems to hate change more than baseball fans. But I promise that this is a good change. As many of us know, change rarely happens overnight. It’s more of a gradual process and it’s one I’m happy to see baseball making.
And as a special treat to any of my other theater people and members of the gay community that may read this, I will leave you with this….
Happy Pride Y’all!!!
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