LGBTQ Sportsball

🏳️‍🌈 Straight-Up Whiffing

The Texas Rangers started using the tagline “Straight Up Texas” on June 1, the first day of Pride Month.

To quote the great Yogi Berra, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”

Year after year, the Rangers refuse to acknowledge their LGBTQ fans. While every other team in Major League Baseball tells us baseball is for everyone — bring on the rainbow banners and Pride games — the Rangers have been content to sit on the bench and pretend gay people don’t exist.

Actually, this year, it’s worse than that. Instead of ignoring us, the Rangers straight-up insulted us. “Straight Up Texas” is the antithesis of saying baseball is for everyone.

Here’s the full story from Queerty: “Texas Rangers find themselves embroiled in another Pride Month controversy”

“Straight Up Texas” isn’t a new rallying cry. The Rangers have used it before. However, it’s hard to believe it’s a coincidence that they’re using this slogan during Pride Month.1

If this is the Rangers’ way of throwing shade at LGBTQ people, their pitching sucks. If you’re going to try to insult us, at least be clever about it. Apparently, they don’t teach camp at spring training camp.

This is part of my Gayskool project:
A new LGBTQ-themed post every day for Pride month.

The Rangers Are Batting .000

I’ve written before about the history of Pride games (cf. Take Me Out to the Ballgame) and what these events mean to people who aren’t part of the LGBTQ community (cf. Allies Go to Bat for Pride Games).2

Major League Baseball (the organization) and 29 teams tell us baseball is for everyone. But the Rangers aren’t getting the message.

To quote the great Yogi Berra, “They made too many wrong mistakes.”

Compare the stuck-in-the-mud Rangers with my beloved Tampa Bay Rays, a team that has been leading the way in embracing LGBTQ fans for more than a decade.

The Rays were among the first teams to record an It Gets Better video for the Trevor Project. In fact, I think they were the first team in all four of the major sports leagues (MLB, NHL, NBA, and NFL) to contribute to this critical and groundbreaking campaign.

The Rays’ first Pride event came days after the horrific Pulse massacre in Orlando. The team immediately realized they needed to do more than hand out rainbow flags. They removed the deck tarps, made every seat in the Trop available, and created an event where the entire community — not just LGBTQ people — could come together, grieve, show our resilience, and gain a sense of normalcy throughout nine innings.

Here are some Instagram posts from the Rays. Do yourself a favor and don’t wade into the comments section.

Inclusive Baseball Is a Home Run

The Rays, like everyone else but the Rangers in baseball, are moving forward. They’ve done so much, but there’s still more to accomplish.

To quote the great Yogi Berra, “It ain’t too far, but it ain’t close either.”

In contrast, the Rangers are headed in the wrong direction. That’s their prerogative.

To paraphrase the great Yogi Berra, “If they don’t want out people to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.”

Perhaps the solution is to send the Rangers down the minors. They keep striking out while everyone else is rounding the bases. They clearly have much to learn.

  1. A life lesson from Dave: Don’t give the benefit of the doubt to people or organizations that have already shown they don’t deserve it. ↩︎
  2. Fun fact: A gay player invited the high five! ↩︎