TAG | Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington
Metro Weekly, Washington, D.C.’s Gay & Lesbian News Magazine, called yesterdays “Night Out with the Nationals” a Grand Slam.
From a sports fans perspective, that certainly would be true: the Washington Nationals scored five runs in the bottom of the 9th inning, capped by a walk-off home run, to beat the Seattle Mariners 6-5.
From the perspective of those that appreciate progress for visibility of the LGBT community in sports, it was also a grand slam.
I’ve written before that, while I appreciate these “Pride Nights” even if they are just gimmicks to sell tickets, I’ll be especially encouraged when the events feature and recognize the LGBT community more prominently.
To date, the NBA’s Golden State Warriors were the shining example.
The Washington Nationals join the list of teams that went above and beyond to celebrate the LGBT community, and for that, I am thankful.
Metro Weekly reports that the event brought in more than 3,400 LGBT fans (see photos from the event here) and featured a slew of participation from some well known LGBT folk:
“The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington sang the national anthem. Amanda Simpson, the first openly transgender presidential employee, presented the Nationals’ lineup to the umpire. Daniel Hernandez, the gay intern who helped save the life of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), threw out the first pitch. And Washington Post opinion writer Jonathan Capehart opened the game with the magic words, ”Let’s play ball!””
Additionally, I know that Pat Griffin, who writes the blog “It Takes A Team” and is one of the most well-known scholars for Title IX and gender/sexuality issues in sports, was in attendance to receive an award on behalf of GLSEN’s Changing the Game campaign.
[EDIT:] Metro Weekly made an excellent video from the event:
I believe the next “Pride Nights” are in the MLS, with Chivas USA in Los Angeles (with Outsports co-sponsoring!) and the Columbus Crew hosting games on July 23. I’ll keep an eye out to see how those events go.