On Wednesday, the Texas Rangers emerged as the World Series champions of 2023, claiming their first title in the franchise’s 52-year history. The victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks was a 5-0 shutout in Game 5, a fitting end to a season that saw the Rangers overcome a gauntlet of injuries and adversities.
The team’s journey to the top was nothing short of cinematic, with a remarkable 11-0 record on the road in the postseason. The Rangers’ win was anchored by the stellar performances of World Series MVP Corey Seager and AL Championship Series MVP Adolis García, with the team being steered by the experienced hand of manager Bruce Bochy.
Ironically, the Rangers also drew significant attention earlier this year in June for their absence from Pride Month celebrations. Funny enough, the Rangers were the only MLB team that did not host a Pride night or engage in any public form of recognition.
Their decision did not go unnoticed. While other professional sports teams in North Texas, including FC Dallas and the Dallas Wings actively participated in Pride Month festivities, the Rangers remained away from politics.
The decision by the Rangers was believed by many team employees to be a top-down directive, with principal owner Ray Davis, who became the team’s majority owner in 2010, at the helm. The team’s official stance, as articulated by representatives, emphasized inclusivity and welcome for all at their ballpark.
Other Major League Baseball teams, like the Los Angeles Dodgers, were over the top in support of pride-esq events. So much so that it alienated certain players from the organization. In June of this year, the Dodgers found themselves embroiled in controversy around their relationship with the Christian community, originating from plans for one of their Pride Nights.
Initially, the Dodgers extended an invitation to The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an organization that features drag performers dressed as nuns. However, this invitation sparked criticism from various quarters. Pitcher Trevor Williams broke his silence after he called for a boycott of the LA Dodgers, slamming the franchise for what he perceived as a blatant mockery of Christians from the event.
Williams had to address accusations of being homophobic or transphobic, clarifying that his issue was not with the Pride event itself, but with what he saw as a mockery of his faith.
“I didn’t say anything anti-pride in my statement. I tried to be as charitable as possible. I truly just wanted to point out the hypocrisy that the Dodgers Code of Conduct says. You cannot make fun of a group, yet we’re honoring this group at the expense of making fun of this group,” he explained.
In June, even the NHL contemplated discontinuing its LGBT ‘Pride Nights’ after facing controversies in a season where several prominent players chose not to wear rainbow-themed warmup jerseys due to their faith and personal beliefs. League Commissioner Gary Bettman hinted at the possibility of ending the program amidst the developments.