No Pride: Texas Rangers Only Team NOT to Host LGBTQ Celebration Night

Advocates are calling out the Texas Rangers for their lax inclusivity efforts and lack of an official Pride Night. 

No Pride Night for Texas Rangers

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The Texas Rangers are the only one out of the 30 Major League Baseball teams in the United States that do not host a Pride Night during Pride Month. 

“Commitment to Inclusivity”

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Although they are the only team who does not celebrate LGBTQ+ culture and rights, they claim they are committed to ensuring everyone at their games feels welcome. 

A Brief History

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The Chicago Cubs were the first team to host a Pride Game back in September 2003. Two years later, the Texas Rangers invited some local LGBTQ+ groups to a game for a fundraiser, which they do for many groups throughout the baseball season. 

Public Backlash

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Groups of Ranger’s fans pushed back against the event, even creating a website prior to the event condemning the support for the queer community. There were even protests outside of the stadium before the game. 

Their Commitment

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No matter the backlash, the Texas Rangers have kept the same consistent response, “Our longstanding commitment remains the same: To make everyone feel welcome and included in Rangers baseball — in our ballpark, at every game, and in all we do — for both our fans and our employees”. 

Delivering on the Promise

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Continuing, “We deliver on that promise across our many programs to have a positive impact across our entire community”. 

A Look at the Politics 

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Texan politics play quite a big role in the general opinions on the queer community, as Republicans have dominated Texas for more than a generation. Texas Governor Greg Abbott, along with other southern conservative states, have been campaigning to limit LGBTQ+ rights. 

Recent Legislation

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The Texas Legislature has passed laws recently to expand on prohibitions on sexual content in public performances and school books. 

Targeting the Queer Community

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Many LGBTQ+ advocacy groups worry that these measures are meant to target drag shows and ban LGBTQ+ accepting literature in classrooms and public libraries. 

Cracking Down

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Texas is also the state with the highest population out of the 25 states with bans on gender-affirming care for transgender minors. Taking it a step further, Texas public universities have been told to suspend and dismantle diversity, equity and inclusion offices and training on campus. 

Transgender Athlete Bans

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Gov. Greg Abott also signed the “Save Women’s Sports Act” to ban transgender college athletes from competing aligned to their gender identity rather than their gender at birth, following a similar law at the high school level. 

Mounting Pressure

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Feeling the pressure from the upcoming presidential election, the Rangers have received more pressure from conservatives to not instate a Pride Night. 

The Context

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The majority owner of the Rangers, Ray C. Davis, has donated more than $560,000 to the political group Texans for Greg Abbott since 2013. These level of donations place Davis as a “mid-tier donor” to the campaign. 

Houston Astros Show Support

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Interestingly enough, the Houston Astros have a Pride Night, but the Texas Rangers do not. The Astros hosted their first even Pride night back in 2021. Houston is the states most populated city, with a recorded 2.3 million in the metro area of around 6.7 million people voting Democrat. 

Liberal Leaning Hubs

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Another more liberal leaning city is Dallas, which is not too far from the Ranger’s home turf. In both Houston and Dallas, the majority of elected officials are Democrats. 

Their Small Shows of Support

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In 2022, the Rangers were a sponsor of the NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series when the competition was in Dallas and Waxahachie. The Rangers also participated in the NAGAAA opening ceremonies and contributed to several events throughout the series. 

Local Initiatives

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Currently, the Rangers are working with local initiatives such as the Pegasus Slow-Pitch Softball Association, who promotes quality amateur softball at all levels, emphasizing the inclusion of LGBTQ+ players. 

Pegasus Slow-Pitch

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The MLB and the Rangers invited Pegasus to join a training program for inclusion managed by the MLB’s All-Star Legacy Program initiatives, and will be hosting the game later in July. In the past, the Rangers have also partnered with the Resource Center, providing programs and assistance to LGBTQ+ communities and to those who are affected by HIV/AIDS in North Dallas. 

New Impact Councils

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The Rangers also created an Inclusion and Community Impact Council to create a safe space for conversations, ideas and programs to support employees and their local community. 

A Complicated Relationship

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Member of the Inclusion and Community Impact Council Rafael McDonnell says, “It’s a complicated relationship. It pains me that this remains an issue (after) all these years”. 

Not Feeling Welcome

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So painful, that he almost did not attend the World Series parade last year after the Rangers first win with his boyfriend, as he did not feel welcomed. 

Who Is Making the Decision?

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McDonnell says, “For a long time, I’ve thought that it might be somebody very high up in the organization who is opposed to this for some reason that is not clearly articulated”. 

The Hill They’ll Die On

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“To say that the Rangers aren’t doing anything for the community, well, they have. But the hill that they are choosing to stake themselves out on is no Pride Night”. 

Their Choice

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Many advocacy groups are keen to remind the Rangers that the MLB participates in Pride Month, and it is only them who are choosing not to. 

Push for Support

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While they may be supporting the community in other small ways, LGBTQ+ still demand the outward display of support regardless of conservative pushback. 

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The post No Pride: Texas Rangers Only Team NOT to Host LGBTQ Celebration Night first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

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