The very same week that we witnessed two huge acknowledgements from professional athletes of their status as gay folx. The very same week, the Pittsburgh Pirates social media team decided to laud their upcoming fan concert this Thursday, July 1, 2021 featuring known homophobe and anti-vaxxer, John Rich of Big & Rich. Let’s go bucs?
Visibility has been huge this week for out athletes –
Japanese Soccer Player Kumi Yokoyama Comes Out As Trans
Emma Twigg will compete in her 4th Olympic Games, but her 1st as an out athlete
6 French athletes, including 3 current Olympians, come out for Pride month
WWE pro wrestler Toni Storm comes out as bisexual
Raiders player Carl Nassib comes out as gay, first active player in NFL history
Carl Nassib is from Pennsylvania. That matters because role models and out athletes, dancers, creators, health care providers, AND MUSICAL ARTISTS matter to LGBTQIA youth.
So all of this great visibility is happening and the Pirates? They book a homophobe who is anti-science, anti-vax, pro-Trump, and worse to play the very day after Pride month ends.
John Rich is quite the ally for the Pirates. He comparedLGBTQ identity to pedophila. He supported for Trump and performed at the pre-inaugural events. He claimed a school was racially indoctrinating children because of an essay on white identity and a Black woman lost her job. He’s like Marjorie Taylor Green, but richer. And a white man. He did a little ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ number on fellow country musician Chely Wright.
I have grown lazy in assuming the Pittsburgh Pirates are allies. I worked with them to produce a video for the “It Gets Better” project. They have hosted Pride Nights at PNC Park since 2004 (I was there.) They’ve worked with multiple LGBTQ charitable organizations, including youth programs. Their former owner is himself an openly gay man. I figured that was sewn up.
I even asked them to donate towels to my heavily queer cat lady TNVR event last week – thank goodness they did not respond. Never has a rejection felt like such a relief. Still, they’ve never simply ignored my requests in the past so perhaps that was a warning sign?
But seriously – wtf, Pirates? I live in your neighborhood and do not want to deal with hours and hours of Big & Rich fans in our predominantly Black urban neighborhoods. Never. I don’t want the parking, the fans, the Trump shirts, the Confederate flags, and I don’t want the ignorance that goes with being an anti-vaxxer.
How dare you do this to us, to our neighborhood. I do not think Mr. Rogers would approve. You work here, but we live here. Our kids are here, our families and friends and neighbors. And a lot of dedicated people who saved our collective souls with their bravery during the pandemic. And there are lots and lots and lots of queer people here.
So the NFL supports their out gay Pennsylvania native player in word & deed and Major League Baseball kicks queer Pittsburgh youth in the head by this dumbass move. Its not funny.
Now since actual ally and badass @JanePitt posted about this, it seems like the Pirates removed their tweet? They aren’t going to take the financial hit of cancelling this show now. So we can go for demanding they offset the harm they’ve caused.
And, no, teaming up with Delta Foundation 2.0 aka Persad Center for Pride Night is not remotely sufficient. What would it take for you to think the Pirates aren’t trading queer fans for the support of the Trumpers?
Let the Pirates know
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