St. Louis Cardinals walk a tightrope between Christian Day and Pride Night
The St. Louis Cardinals received backlash about Lance Berkman speaking at Christian Day, then received backlash when they announced Pride Night.
It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the St. Louis Cardinals. The team claims to have hosted a Christian Day at their ballpark for nearly 30 years, but this year’s event caused some controversy in mid-June. One of the speakers at Christian Day at Busch Stadium, which is scheduled for July 30, is former MLB player Lance Berkman.
The organization Pride Center of St. Louis came out in protest of Berkman speaking at the event because Berkman campaigned against an equal-rights ordinance in 2015 and openly criticized the LGBT community. While campaigning against the ordinance that would have protected LGBT rights in Houston, Berkman said in a radio ad, “No men in women’s bathrooms, no boys in girls’ showers or locker rooms . . . Proposition 1, the bathroom ordinance, would allow troubled men to enter women’s public bathrooms, showers and locker rooms.”
Conflating a sexual predator attacking women in bathrooms with transgender men is a common assertion made by people who are opposed to equal-rights measures aimed at protecting the LGBT community. It doesn’t seem to matter that no transgender person has been charged with assaulting someone in a bathroom or that actual sexual predators are unlikely to be stopped by a symbol on a door. These anti-LGBT bathroom bills actually force transgender people who appear to be male to use the women’s bathroom and those who appear to be female to use the men’s bathroom.
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Berkman’s comments from 2015 led to the group Pride Center of St. Louis announcing their disappointment that the Cardinals would allow Berkman to speak at Christian Night. The Cardinals held firm and Berkman is still on the schedule. The team did meet with Landon Brownfield, secretary and co-chair of Pride Center of St. Louis, to schedule their first ever Pride Night, which will happen on August 25.
A dozen major league teams had Pride Nights scheduled for the month of June. Two teams had similar nights earlier in the season and four others, including the Cardinals, will have Pride Nights in July, August, or September. That makes 18 of the 30 MLB teams.
Even though more than half of the teams in baseball now have Pride Nights, some St. Louis fans were not happy that their team has embraced this theme. Fans made their thoughts known on the team’s Twitter post about Pride Night and it wasn’t pretty. Here are some examples:
Chava Espinosa: “What a shame to be glad about this. L. Romans 1:18-32.
Christopher Gonzales: Will you guys be having a Pride night for Heterosexuals as well?
Aunt Martha: Never thought the gays would invade St. Louis as well! St. Louis is a straight city. Will there be a “no gay” zone as well as “no smoking”?
Carson Roberts: Never thought we would see this! Let all Christians pray for an empty stadium. This is rejection of GOD’s moral laws HE set forth!
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 23, 2017
These were some of the tame comments. A twitter account mockingly named Baseball’s Best Fans has some of the nastiest comments that were made by St. Louis fans in response to the Pride Night announcement. If you really want to be disappointed in the human race, look at those comments.
It should be noted that comments like those posted above were a small percentage of the whole. Many people countered the intolerant comments with comments supporting Pride Night. Not all St. Louis Cardinals fans are so strongly against Pride Night but the ones that are against it are REALLY against it.
It’s unfortunate that what should be a fun event for everyone, gay or straight, black or white, Christian or Muslim or Atheist, can cause such anger in some people. The Cardinals are hosting Pride Night on August 25 to be supportive of the LGBT community but, newsflash to the anti-LGBT crowd, there are gay people at every Cardinals game. They might even be sitting next to you on Christian Day.