(NEWS4USONLINE) – Controversy surrounded the Los Angeles Dodgers organization early this summer when the team hosted its annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night. The year 2023 marked the 10th anniversary of the celebration in what had been, up to that point, a successful yearly promotion.
This year’s event caused an uproar and has been heavily debated before, during, and after the game the Dodgers played against the San Francisco Giants on June 16.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are offering their apologies and re-inviting the LA Sisters to be honored at their Pride Night. Please see the official comms from the Dodgers, and the LA Sisters.— The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (@SFSisters) May 23, 2023
Love always win! pic.twitter.com/9llgSSTnRE
The Dodgers were met with backlash earlier this year when they announced they would be honoring The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with a community hero award on Pride Night. The criticism is not directed toward the LGBTQ+ community but rather at the nonprofit groups’ lack of respect for others with religious beliefs, more specifically Christianity.
“This has nothing to do with the LGBTQ+ community or Pride or anything like that,” said Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. “This is simply a group that was making fun of a religion, that I don’t agree with.”
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were uninvited and then re-invited to be honored during the game due to the organization’s adverse reactions to each decision. Their public representation of nuns is the main reason people of faith take offense to the group. On the day they were recognized, hundreds gathered to protest on the street leading into the Dodger Stadium parking lot.
“Many of their performances are blasphemous, and their work only displays hate and mockery of Catholics and the Christian faith,” said Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen via Twitter. “This single event alienates the fans and supporters of the Dodgers, Major League Baseball, and professional sports.”
Members of the Dodgers were not the only players to speak out publicly. Trevor Williams expressed his thoughts by writing a compelling statement on Twitter. The Washington Nationals pitcher is a devoted Catholic and took exception to the re-invitation of the group.
“A Major League Baseball game is a place where people from all walks of life should feel welcomed, something I greatly respect and support. This is the purpose of different themed nights hosted by the organizations, including Pride Night,” said Williams on his Twitter account. “To invite and honor a group that makes a blatant and deeply offensive mockery of my religion, and the religion of over 4 million people in Los Angeles County alone, undermines the values of respect and inclusivity that should be upheld by any organization.”
Nearly all of the MLB teams celebrated Pride Night. This year 29 out of 30 teams hosted a Pride Night celebration of some sort. The game must continue celebrating these traditions in a sport that has brought many communities together. In the future, organizations must more carefully consider the people they deem worthy representatives of the entire community. The goal is to bring fans together as opposed to creating a divide.
Benjamin Verbrugge is a student at CSU Dominguez Hill studying journalism. “Sports have brought me much joy throughout my life, and I want to be able to give a little back to something that has meant so much to me. I grew up in Los Angeles primarily following the Lakers and Dodgers, but I am also an avid fan of sporting events, news, and stories in general.”