UPDATE 9/1: The Padres took it in the rear on “Gay Pride” Night, losing 8-6 to the Texas Rangers. Perhaps the “rainbow” caps are cursed.
ORIGINAL STORY: The San Diego Padres will hold “gay pride” night this Tuesday when they play the Texas Rangers. The Padres are the first major league baseball team to hold a gay pride night, and are the only team to continue an annual event. How San Diego beat San Francisco to the punch on this is one of baseball’s great mysteries.
Attendees to “Pride Night” (the “gay” has been dropped, because it offends those who identify as lesbian, bisexual, trangendered, and queer) will get a “limited edition Pride-themed Padres hat,” with rainbows in the Padres logo. The National Anthem will be sung by the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, a name which, if you think about it, seems redundant to include both “gay” and “men’s chorus” together. $5 of every “Pride Night” ticket purchased will be donated to San Diego Pride (a group that organizes gay-themed events) and the Gay Men’s Chorus.
Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with gays attending baseball games. However, according to Padres officials, gays do not make up a big part of their fan base, so the event seems to be an attempt to cater to make a political statement rather than recognizing a fan segment. The event also isn’t without controversy. When the Padres held the first “Gay Pride” night in 2007, the held it the same night as a hat giveaway for children who attended, which caused many complaints from those who felt many parents were taking their kids to a game unaware of the added adult-themed promotion.
Major League Baseball, in recent years, has jumped on the LGBTQ bandwagon. In 2013, the Seattle Mariners flew a gay pride flag at a game, but “gay pride” nights as a whole are still rare. However, MLB does sell a line of t-shirts and caps featuring rainbow logo versions of the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs.