Boston Pride, an LGBT organization that promotes Boston’s Gay Pride Week, hosted the first-ever “Pride Night” at Fenway Park Thursday night. The Red Sox invited Jason Collins, the first openly gay professional athlete in any of the four major American sports, to throw out the ceremonial first pitch “to celebrate his courage.” In addition to partnering with Boston Pride to create the event, the Red Sox agreed to donate a percentage of the night’s proceeds to the nonprofit LGBT group.
To see the Red Sox jump aboard the Jason Collins-support train is unsurprising, but the organization’s decision to help host a “Pride Night” appears to be the first of its kind among MLB teams. Other ballparks have been the site of gay pride rallies—specifically Petco Park in San Diego and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia—but the Red Sox’ decision to partner with Boston Pride and support the LGBT organization with the night’s profits gets the fans directly involved. Many angry fans voiced complaints through the Red Sox fan service phone line this week and left comments of disapproval on the Red Sox website.
The difficulty in protesting events such as the Red Sox “Pride Night” and Collins’ ceremonial first pitch lies in the media portrayals of the homosexuality debate. Reporters have lauded Collins for his “honesty” and “courage,” while some ballclubs have worked with LGBT groups to promote acceptance and anti-bullying awareness. Because the virtues of honesty, courage, love, and kindness are biblically commendable, some find it hard to oppose a movement that claims these characteristics, but the key is for Christians to be upfront about the root question at hand—should our society openly embrace a lifestyle condemned by the Bible?