Yankees to Hold Pride Events Next Season for 50th Anniversary of Stonewall

The team resisted a Pride night for years, and is the last in the league to announce it will get into the LGBTQ-affirming act.

The New York Yankees will hold a series of events next season, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, becoming the final Major League Baseball team to announce its intentions to do so.

Stonewall Inn
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The Yankees are one of only two teams to have never held a Pride night, and when, earlier this month, the Los Angeles Angels announced plans for a Pride event next season the pressure to join the ranks grew.

A team spokesperson confirmed the planned events to the Times, which were rumored in a report by SNY, citing unnamed MLB officials.

“While a Yankees spokesman said it was too early to confirm any specifics of the 2019 promotional calendar, other sources said that the team continues to work out details of Stonewall-centered events. Specifics have not been finalized, but I hear that the final plan is likely to include activities both inside and outside the ballpark,” wrote SNY’s Andy Martino.

Fenway Pride night
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A rainbow Pride flag flies over Fenway Park during a Boston Red Sox Pride night event.

“The anniversary of Stonewall every year is an emotional and seminal event for LGBT people—not just for those in New York City but around the world,” Corey Johnson, a City Council speaker who famously came out as gay football player to his high school with posters hung in the hallway, told The New York Times.

“To have an event in the Bronx at Yankee Stadium is a very special moment, and for me, as a former athlete, I’m going to be really proud to be there.”

Toronto Blue Jays Pride night
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The first base at a Toronto Blue Jays Pride night adorned with the rainbow flag.

“Stonewall is a perfect anniversary to do something special to make up for the fact that they were going to be the last team to hold a pride event,” Jim Buzinski of Outsports said. “It’s a good thing. I just hope it’s not a one-off—‘Well, we did Stonewall at 50 years.’ The big question is, what are they going to do in 2020?”

“It has to be genuine and authentic,” said Erik Braverman, the Dodgers’ senior vice president for marketing, communications and broadcasting. The Dodgers organization donates to The Trevor Project and sponsors LGBTQ sports leagues.

“You can’t pander to the community and put it on the website saying there’s a ticket package and rainbow item,” he continued. “You have to practice what you preach—especially in New York and L.A. I think you have to lead by example.”

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