Yankees The Only Team Not To Observe Pride Night

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage in 2003. Twelve years later, the Supreme Court of the United States knocked down all remaining barriers, making gay marriage legal throughout the United States. In an effort to recognize diversity in sports, the Boston Red Sox held their first annual Pride Night in 2013. Pride Night is when the Boston Red Sox show their pride and appreciation for the LGBTQ community. Most other teams in Major League Baseball soon followed. By 2019 all but one team will have held a Pride Night at their respective stadiums. Guess who that one team is? You guessed it! According to Maury Brown’s article on Forbes.com, the Yankees are the only team in baseball with no plans to observe Pride Night.

One of the reasons why I love baseball so much is that both teams get a chance to proveobserve pride night
themselves. As the Orioles’ Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver once said, baseball’s not like football or basketball where one team can hold the ball and run out the clock. In baseball, you have to give the other man a chance. I respect and appreciate that idea so much. Not just as a man who loves sports, but also as an equal rights advocate. This mentality is the reason why it’s so important to recognize diversity in sports.

To Observe Pride Night Is To Recognize Equality In Baseball In All Forms

The Boston Red Sox held their annual Pride Night on June 7th of this year. While it was a huge success, there were some fans who expressed their displeasure with the event. According to Outsports.com, one disgruntled person posted the following questions on Instagram, “Where’s the pride night for normal, married men and women that have children and are a family? It’s a two-way street.” Here’s the problem with this question. First, Pride Night is about celebrating LGBTQ pride. Secondly, the person who asked this question does not in any way appreciate or understand how privileged they are. In my opinion, they should be thankful that they don’t NEED a pride night for “normal married men and women.”

The Yankees Should Observe Pride Night Or Risk Further Stain On Their Reputation For Inequality

The New York Yankees claim that they’re devoted to LGBTQ equality. I interpret that as their way of saying they have nothing against the LGBTQ community. The Red Sox, however, made similar claims before they became the last team to integrate in 1959. The Red Sox could have signed Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays. But, depending on who you ask, they didn’t want to either because they were a racist organization, or they did not see it as an imperative thing to do.  Despite the Red Sox’s recent efforts to recognize inclusion and diversity, their reputation as a racist organization continues to persist. The Yankees are following a similar path with LGBTQ rights.

If they ever hold a Pride Night, the New York Yankees will become the last team to do so. The Yankees were one of the last teams in baseball to integrate and has more than its fair share of racist history. So if they don’t think observing Pride Night is important, all they have to do is look to the Red Sox and see how they as the last team to integrate has played out for them in history. Maybe it’s an apples to oranges comparison, but either way you look at it it’s not the kind of publicity that the Yankees want or need.

Do Steroids Even Matter Anymore?

I overheard an interesting question between two fans at the opening of the Red Sox v. Astros series last week. “You think he’s back on steroids?” someone asked about Ortiz as he stood at-bat. I thought about how unlikely that would be. What does Ortiz have to gain by using steroids? So he can leave baseball at the top? That’s quite a risk for someone who has already been mentioned in rumors about usage. But on a larger level I have to ask myself, “Do steroids even matter anymore?”

A lot of people will say yes, they matter a lot. They say that steroid usage is cheatingSteroids Even Matter because it prolongs a player’s career, makes him unnaturally strong, and gives a team an unbalanced advantage over another. But it’s not like PEDs haven’t been around for years. Jim Bouton’s book Ball Four details amphetamine use in baseball in the 1960s and 70s. Players would take them by the handful before a game to stay energized. In fact, it wasn’t uncommon to find bowls of the stuff in locker rooms throughout baseball. So when the question of whether to induct Roger Clemens comes up, why don’t the same critics who point to his alleged steroid usage also call out the Hall of Famers who took amphetamines over fifty years ago? What’s the difference between a guy like Barry Bonds, and Willie Mays, who allegedly kept a liquid form of amphetamines in his locker during his final days with the Mets? I honestly think it comes down to its label. “…if there was a pill that could guarantee you would win 20 games but would take five years off of your life, players would take it,” Boutin added. “The only thing I didn’t know at the time was the name.” In the 1960s, no one really knew what amphetamines were, much less thought about the ethics of taking them. So there was no proper noun to speak of that people could use as a weapon to label players they didn’t like.

So Do Steroids Even Matter?

On one hand, I don’t think players who routinely took and depended on steroids during their careers should immediately be inducted in the Hall of Fame, including Roger Clemens. It’s not just because of their usage, but also because of the tremendous amount of arrogance they displayed when using. The humbleness that has often been consistent with baseball was absent in their demeanor. Combine that aspect with a disregard for rules, and the general disregard for their own bodies is enough for me to keep them out of the Hall of Fame. Not to mention they’re terrible role models for teens who don’t understand what steroids can really do to your body. On the other hand, it’s not fair that players like Willie Mays used amphetamines and were never criticized, while Ortiz and Clemens are continually condemned for their alleged usage. So what does it come down to nowadays? “[Steroids] matter in terms of players are still getting suspended for it and can cost their team,” says Christopher Cooper, a personal trainer and co-owner of Active Movement & Performance in Massapequa Park, NY. “They can disappoint fans, but it’s not as much in the limelight as they were a few years ago. So it’s almost as if they don’t matter, unless your team’s player gets caught.”

So do steroids even matter anymore? To loyal fanboys the answer is no; they’ll stay loyal to their favorite player. But to opposing fans, it most certainly does. It’s a label that will always be used as a weapon to attack the opposition.