The Texas Rangers' omission of Pride Night a missed opportunity for inclusion

Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays
Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays / Mike Carlson/GettyImages

In recent years, Major League Baseball (MLB) teams have embraced the importance of inclusion and diversity by hosting Pride Nights, events that celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. However, amidst this growing trend, the Texas Rangers stand out as the only team in the league that has not hosted a Pride Night in 2023. There are no current plans for the team to host such a celebration.

Pride Nights have become an annual tradition for many MLB teams, fostering an atmosphere of acceptance, support, and celebration for LGBTQ+ fans and allies. These events typically feature various initiatives, such as rainbow-themed merchandise, charitable partnerships, and players donning special jerseys or caps.

The Texas Rangers are the only MLB team to not host a Pride Night

While the Dallas Cowboys and other local sports franchises have also yet to embrace Pride Nights, the Texas Rangers' omission stands out in a league where most teams actively participate. The absence of a Pride Night sends a message that the Rangers may be aligning themselves with the conservative government and Christian beliefs in Texas, potentially hindering the team's progress towards inclusivity.

Players have sometimes cited their Christian beliefs as a reason for not participating in Pride-themed events. However, it is crucial to understand that Pride Nights are not about challenging personal beliefs, but rather creating an environment of acceptance and showing that all individuals are valued. Reframing this celebration as an opportunity to welcome and include everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, can foster a more unified and cohesive baseball community.

The absence of a Pride Night by the Texas Rangers not only affects LGBTQ+ fans but also fails to acknowledge and embrace the LGBTQ+ family members, friends, and employees within the team. By excluding this celebration, the Rangers miss out on a chance to unite fans.

The Rangers ' response was unclear when asked about their decision to forgo hosting a Pride Night. While they emphasized their commitment to creating an inclusive environment, they still needed to provide a specific reason for their omission. Instead, the team highlighted its involvement in other community initiatives and events. While commendable, these do not compensate for the absence of a Pride Night.

In a time when sports organizations actively promote inclusivity and diversity, the Texas Rangers' failure to host a Pride Night in 2023 is a missed opportunity to foster unity and acceptance among fans. By embracing Pride Nights, the Rangers could send a powerful message of support and inclusivity to their LGBTQ+ fanbase and their own employees and players. Baseball should be a unifying force, and by hosting such a celebration of inclusion, the Texas Rangers can take a significant step toward creating an environment where all fans can feel welcome and celebrated.