Minor League Baseball has announced the launch of MiLB Pride, the largest documented Pride celebration in professional sports, with nearly 70 MiLB teams hosting Pride Nights or events this season.
"Sports can bring people together and help transcend differences. MiLB Pride is putting the power of sports into action and building bridges to the LGBTQ community that didn't previously exist," said Minor League Baseball Director of Diversity and Inclusion Vincent Pierson. "Launching this program is a proud moment for the game of baseball and we look forward to building on this in the future."
MiLB Pride events will include teams holding LGBT-themed nights, incorporating Pride into scheduled promotions, providing discounted tickets to LGBT organizations, and/or engaging with the LGBT community “both in the ballpark and beyond.”
The program includes teams forming partnerships with more than 150 local LGBT organizations across the country, including You Can Play — an organization that advocates for equality and respect for all who connect with sports, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
"You Can Play is grateful to be partnering with Minor League Baseball as it continues to serve as a model for diversity and inclusion," said Brian Kitts, president of You Can Play. "We share a commitment to growing a great sport by making locker rooms and stadiums safe for every baseball player and fan, including those in the LGBTQ community."
Elsewhere in the game, when the Major League team Oakland Athletics announced its first ever "LGBT Pride Night" on social media in 2015, it got backlash from fans on Twitter and Facebook including "Parents, please note this is not a game you want to take your kids to," and "What other fetishes are we going to recognize at ballgames?," .