Texas Rangers remain only Major League Baseball team to resist hosting a Pride night despite annual pressure

Major League Baseball team the Texas Rangers have remained the only organization in the league to not host a Pride night, gay pride-themed game, or any other promotion of the sort.

In fact, according to Breitbart, the team has not hosted any sort of celebration of the kind since 2003. That year, the team invited several “LGBTQ+ groups” to the stadium, however the event was reportedly not officially marketed and was met with protests. That was the last time anything in the realm of such a celebration was held.

Media outlets, such as the Dallas Morning News, which has recirculated a 2021 article on the topic, seemingly conduct routine check-ins with the Rangers’ organization each season. In fact, the 2021 piece rehashes comments Rangers COO Neil Leibman gave to the paper in 2020.

“With respect to Pride Night, we reached out to the Resource Center and said what can we do internally,” Leibman began. “We immediately adopted some changes they suggested to be more inclusive in hiring practices. I think that’s more meaningful than just saying ‘OK, we had a Pride Night.’”

The article also noted that Rafael McDonnell, a liaison between pro sports teams and the LGBTQ Resource Center, attempted to pressure the Texas ball club into hosting a celebratory night. McDonnell scheduled a probing meeting with the MLB’s ambassador for inclusion in Dallas, which then led to a meeting with the Texas team itself in October 2019. The activist reportedly showed two Texas Rangers staffers how other teams were promoting gay pride at ball parks and with merchandising, but the efforts appear to have fallen short to this day.

Despite the team adjusting its hiring practices, McDonnell was still unsatisfied and said “I think you can do both.”

Outsports also reported in August 2022 that while the Texas Rangers were a “Platinum Corporate Sponsor” for the “Gay Softball World Series” in Dallas that year, McDonnell was still bothered that the organization did not and doesn’t “publicly acknowledge” their efforts.

As well, the Dallas Morning Observer managed to connect the team’s lack of World Series Championships with their lack of Pride nights in 2022. “Zero prizes. No pride,” the outlet wrote. “[After] another lousy, losing year on the field, the front office will stubbornly retain its reputation as the last homophobic holdout.”

Despite this airtight correlation, the Rangers have managed to be the second best team overall for the 2023 season at the time of this publication despite not breaking their “holdout.”

The first-ever Pride game held in the MLB was by the Chicago Cubs in 2001.

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