White Sox' Disco Demolition Giveaway Drawing Criticism
The White Sox issued a statement saying tonight's T-Shirt giveaway commemorating the 40th anniversary of Disco Demolition Night, is "only meant to mark the historical nature of the night 40 years later," according to Phil Rosenthal of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. However, some fans "see the event as not just a demonstration against disco music but against the groups that first embraced the dance music, namely African Americans, Latinos and gay people," and "criticism of the giveaway has spread on social media." The White Sox, citing the "franchise's longstanding record on advocating for inclusion and diversity," said they are "reviewing feedback" they have received since first announcing the giveaway (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/13).
REACTIONS MIX: In Chicago, Jim O'Donnell wrote criticism aimed at the White Sox for "honoring alleged homophobia" by commemorating Disco Demolition is "such pathetic brain-police revisionism." Radio personality Steve Dahl -- who presided over the original Disco Demolition and who will "throw out the first pitch" before tonight's game -- "simply spoofed a pop music bubble that had gone from fresh and fun to templates and self-parodying" (Chicago DAILY HERALD, 6/13). Meanwhile, VICE's Josh Terry wrote it is "strange for a professional sports team to lovingly remember one of its biggest non-baseball mistakes in history." Terry: "But really, it's wrong because the whole premise of the original promotion shouldn't have happened in the first place." During Pride Month and in '19, the team would be "better suited celebrating its diverse fanbase rather than commemorating angry white teens tearing something down that paved the way for hip-hop, house music, and so many other important movements" (VICE.com, 6/12).