One might assume that hailing from New York City — the undisputed bastion of diversity and lifestyle acceptance — a world-famous sports franchise such as the Yankees long ago would've sponsored an LGBTQ Pride Night at its iconic stadium.
But it hasn't.
Image source: YouTube screenshot
And since Forbes reported that the Los Angeles Angels will hold a Pride Night next June, the Yankees are now the only Major League Baseball team that hasn't sponsored such an event or announced its intention of doing so.
According to Outsports, 24 of the 30 MLB teams have Pride events on this season's calendars.
The Chicago Cubs had June 10 on its schedule, the outlet said, and are planning an encore Pride Night on Aug. 26. Most MLB teams held Pride events in June, which is LGBT pride month.
Outsports also noted which squad boasted the earliest Pride Night — the Padres on April 27 — and that the National League West is the only division with all five teams having Pride events this season. The outlet also offered a list of every MLB team's "Pride night status."
What did a gay NYC elected official have to say?
“Pride Nights are really important to show the LGBTQ community that they are just as welcome as anyone else,” New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson — the first openly gay man to hold that position, CBS News reported — told the station in a statement. “The Yankees are one of the most famous sporting teams in the world. They should be leading by example.”
What did a GLAAD official have to say?
“As a lifelong Yankees fan, some of my favorite memories growing up are with my family at the games," Rich Ferraro, GLAAD's chief communications officer, also told CBS News in a statement, "and when I came out, it would have meant the world to me to see the Yankees recognize my community."
While the Bronx Bombers have participated in GLAAD’s Spirit Day Campaign to support LGBTQ youth, Ferraro told the station that an LGBTQ Pride Night at Yankee Stadium would be a big deal for LGBTQ fans.
“Though the Yankees have a history of being supportive of LGBTQ people, a LGBTQ Pride Night is a major moment to make sure all fans feel included in the game,” he told WCBS.
More from the station:
The Yankees’ crosstown rival, the New York Mets, first held a Pride celebration during the 2016 season — the first of its kind among any Big Apple sports teams, the Mets said at the time.
David Kilmnick, CEO of the LGBT Network, was the first person to pitch the idea of Pride Night to the Mets, according to NBC News, and he said he tried to do the same with the Yankees, despite being a lifelong Mets fan.
It’s not only LGBTQ events, though — the Yankees have mostly avoided promotions with an “ethnic or cultural flavor,” the New York Times noted last year.
The Yankees did not respond to CBS News’ request for comment, but a team spokesman told the Times that while the Yankees have chosen to refrain from holding a gay pride event at Yankee Stadium, there has been involvement “behind the scenes.”
“Everyone of every nationality, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation and/or preference is welcome at Yankee Stadium every day,” Jason Zillo told the Times in a 2017 statement. “We are a long-term believer in diversity and inclusion, and have always looked to create a safe and supportive environment for all fans to enjoy their experience here.”
Major League Baseball entered a float in the NYC Pride March for the first time in the event's 49-year history, WCBS reported, adding that the MLB joined the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLS, WNBA, and National Women’s Hockey League there.
The station said Outsports dubbed the NYC Pride March as the “sportiest Pride March ever.”