New York Yankees is the only team without a Pride Night.
Written by ZenKC on October 11, 2018
After taking flak for remaining the only MLB team not to host an LGBT Pride Night, the New York Yankees organization changed the narrative on September 21st, 2018 by announcing details on a series of 2019 events that will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.
The Yankees’ commemoration, tabbed the Yankees-Stonewall Scholars Initiative, will be held during the team’s homestand from June 17-26 in 2019. It will honor graduating senior students from the New York City Public School who have made impactful support towards LGBT equality. Five $10,000 scholarships, which will be determined by the NYC Department of Education, will be disbursed to students from each of the five boroughs in New York City.
The Stonewall riots were a series of demonstrations by the LGBT community against the police in 1969 that occurred at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan. They’re largely referenced as the spark that lit the flame for LGBT equality movement in the United States.
“Through this initiative we are proud to recognize the profound historical impact of Stonewall and celebrate the many meaningful contributions of the LGBTQ community,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. “The Yankees wholeheartedly support equality for all individuals and applaud any efforts which make our society more inclusive and tolerant. It is our hope that this scholarship program will serve as a springboard for young LGBTQ student community members and advocates as they continue the pursuit of their dreams, ambitions and livelihoods.”
The Yankees said in a news release that other LGBT community-themed commemorations will also take place in 2019, the details of which will be announced at a later time.
The storied franchise had come under fire this summer after the Los Angeles Angels announced plans for their first LGBT-themed night — effectively making the Yankees the only MLB team not to have such a public event on the docket. The New York Mets, meanwhile, have hosted two Pride nights.
Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo told the New York Times in 2017 that the organization does more towards LGBT inclusion behind the scenes. And MLB executive Billy Bean, a former player who is openly gay, has previously said in other interviews that there’s no pressure for MLB clubs to host Pride Nights, with the preference that it come to fruition in an “organic” manner.