Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) threw out the first pitch of the Washington Nationals’ LGBT-themed “Night OUT” this week. The prominent Democrat’s participation comes during significant public criticism of what many conservatives see as politics entering into professional baseball.
According to the Nationals franchise, the California Democrat was invited to be a main focus of the game due to her “long-standing commitment to fighting for the rights and dignities of the LGBTQ+ community.”
In addition, the club will be donating part of the ticket sale revenue to Team DC, described as promoting education within the “LGBTQ community on the benefits of individual and team sports participation.” Five dollars of each ticket sold will go to the organization.
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The decision to host Pelosi and donate to the LGBT group also comes after the Los Angeles Dodgers courted controversy over its own related event, scheduled for later this month.
The Dodgers invited, then disinvited, then reinvited an anti-Catholic LGBT group, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The back-and-forth resulted in significant criticism of the team, including from the players themselves.
In particular, the group’s active mocking of Catholic traditions, including nuns, drew considerable exception from conservatives. Their conduct was recently described by the New York Post as “ridiculing Catholics and Catholicism in the most public, provocative and obnoxious manner.”
The group’s participation received disagreement from Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw said that he disagreed with including “a group that was making fun of a religion.”
Kershaw requested that the Dodgers reintroduce its Christian Faith and Family Day which had not been held since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The team has the themed event scheduled for July.
Furthermore, both the Nationals’ and Dodgers’ decisions can be tied together in recent statements by Washington pitcher Trevor Williams. Williams called for help from “fellow Catholics” over the Dodgers’ decision to include the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
He said that the group “makes a blatant and deeply offensive mockery of my religion.
Williams said that it was “essential for the Dodgers to reconsider their association with this group and strive to create an inclusive environment that does not demean or disrespect the religious beliefs of any fan or employee.”