Yankees Confirm Plans For '19 Stonewall Riots Celebration
The Yankees have confirmed that they are "developing a series of events next season tied to the celebration of the Stonewall riots," according to Billy Witz of the N.Y. TIMES. That comes after SNY.com earlier this week reported the Yankees would commemorate the event. While "thematic promotions are ingrained in baseball culture," the Yankees have largely "shied away from them, particularly those with an ethnic or cultural flavor, not wanting to be put in the position of saying yes to some and no to others." Despite being the only MLB team not to have a planned LGBTQ event on the book, the Yankees have been involved in those causes "behind the scenes." Yankees Senior VP & GM Brian Cashman and Senior VP & Assistant GM Jean Afterman have "worked with groups that assist gay and transgender youths," and the team has invited MLB VP/Social Responsiblity & Inclusion Billy Bean to "speak with Yankees players at the major and minor league levels." However, the team has "refrained from holding" an LGBTQ pride event at Yankee Stadium, "rebuffing at least one effort to get them to do so." The team began near the end of Spring Training "to have internal discussions about how -- with the Stonewall anniversary approaching next year -- they might make a meaningful gesture to LGBT fans while remaining selective about whom the team recognizes and how." A greater urgency came in July when the Angels announced a pride event for next season, "leaving the Yankees as the only baseball franchise that had not held or planned such an event." The Yankees then "began to answer calls from LGBT rights leaders and city officials." By framing their plans around the Stonewall celebration, the Yankees "hope to create an event that in some way endures, though it remains uncertain whether it will be more than a one-time event" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/10).