Baseball has taken huge steps forward in support of LGBTQ players and fans.

Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images.

Pride nights at major sporting events have become as American as apple pie.

Major League Baseball has made huge strides in recent years in recognizing LGBTQ fans and players. Only the Angels and the Yankees haven't yet held Pride events. But with the Angels announcing plans to host Pride Night in June 2019, the sea change is almost complete.

It's a rapidly accelerating culture of acceptance for a sport that as recently as 2015 faced backlash from fans in one city that hosted its first Pride night. But even that story had a positive ending. The Chicago Cubs are believed to have held the first Pride Night in 2001 and are one of at least 11 teams to sell official Pride merchandise at games.


During the 2018 season, 23 teams are set to host Pride nights, with many having past and future events on the books. As the world of sports continues to evolve on LGBTQ issues, that's a lot of progress in a very short window of time.

Even the New York Yankees — the only team left so far without an official Pride planned — still recognize that inclusion is paramount.

New York is home to Stonewall, where the modern gay rights movement got its start. In 1994, Yankee Stadium played to host the closing ceremonies of the Gay Games. It seems that it would be one of the first, not the last, baseball team to get on board.

Former Major League star Billy Bean, who came out in 1999 and in 2014 was named MLB's inclusion ambassador, said he's talked to the Yankees about hosting a Pride night but wants it to feel "organic."

Team representatives have said the Yankees are simply moving away from theme nights but insist they are actively working with the LGBTQ community to ensure an inclusive atmosphere at games. But as any sports fan can attest, optics matter. And right now there may be no better public display than hosting a Pride night.

"It's part of us getting better and understanding the value of being inclusive," Bean said. "There's a massive significance to that message."

Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

There's still more work to be done to make sports more inclusive, but Pride nights are a hopeful sign of what's to come.

Major League Baseball has really upped its game as far as inclusion in recent years, and it should be commended for it. And there's still more work to be done for making sports everywhere a safe and welcome space for all people — fans and the athletes themselves included. Pride Nights send a powerful message that all are welcome.

More
Courtesy of Houseplant.

In America, one dumb mistake can hang over your head forever.

Nearly 30% of the American adult population — about 70 million people — have at least one criminal conviction that can prevent them from being treated equally when it comes to everything from job and housing opportunities to child custody.

Twenty million of these Americans have felony convictions that can destroy their chances of making a comfortable living and prevents them from voting out the lawmakers who imprisoned them.

Many of these convictions are drug-related and stem from the War on Drugs that began in the U.S. '80s. This war has unfairly targeted the minority community, especially African-Americans.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

Climate change is happening because the earth is warming at an accelerated rate, a significant portion of that acceleration is due to human activity, and not taking measures to mitigate it will have disastrous consequences for life as we know it.

In other words: Earth is heating up, it's kinda our fault, and if we don't fix it, we're screwed.

This is the consensus of the vast majority of the world's scientists who study such things for a living. Case closed. End of story.

How do we know this to be true? Because pretty much every reputable scientific organization on the planet has examined and endorsed these conclusions. Thousands of climate studies have been done, and multiple peer-reviewed studies have been done on those studies, showing that somewhere between 84 and 97 percent of active climate science experts support these conclusions. In fact, the majority of those studies put the consensus well above 90%.

Keep Reading Show less
Nature
via James Anderson

Two years ago, a tweet featuring the invoice for a fixed boiler went viral because the customer, a 91-year-old woman with leukemia, received the services for free.

"No charge for this lady under any circumstances," the invoice read. "We will be available 24 hours to help her and keep her as comfortable as possible."

The repair was done by James Anderson, 52, a father-of-five from Burnley, England. "James is an absolute star, it was overwhelming to see that it cost nothing," the woman's daughter told CNN.

Keep Reading Show less
Heroes

I live in a family with various food intolerances. Thankfully, none of them are super serious, but we are familiar with the challenges of finding alternatives to certain foods, constantly checking labels, and asking restaurants about their ingredients.

In our family, if someone accidentally eats something they shouldn't, it's mainly a bit of inconvenient discomfort. For those with truly life-threatening food allergies, the stakes are much higher.

I can't imagine the ongoing stress of deadly allergy, especially for parents trying to keep their little ones safe.

Keep Reading Show less
popular