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Cardinals Pride: Too little, too late?

Em Miller, News Editor

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On Aug. 25, the Cardinals officially hosted their first Pride Night. The road to this Pride Night has been a bumpy one, starting with the fact that while the Cardinals have hosted many LGBTQ+ groups in the past, they haven’t always been the best allies.

In fact, for Christian Day, the Cardinals announced that their keynote speaker was going to be Lance Berkman – an outspoken opponent to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, also known as HERO.

HERO was proposed to protect Houston residents and visitors from discrimination due to a variety of factors, including gender identity and sexual orientation, which Berkman spoke up against.

Berkman, in a public YouTube video sponsored by Campaign for Houston, claimed that “Proposition 1 would allow troubled men, who claim to be women, to enter women’s bathrooms, showers and locker rooms.”

First of all, transgender women are not “troubled men” – they are women, something that Berkman is unable to understand.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg on Berkman’s stance toward LGBTQ+ individuals, so it did not come as a surprise when various LGBTQ+ groups protested against Berkman being allowed to speak at Christian Day.

The Cardinals addressed the backlash Berkman stirred up with a statement that also officially announced their first Pride Night.

While the push for the Cardinals to hold Pride Night started well before Berkman was announced to be a speaker for Christian Day, the choice to announce Pride Night in direct response to public backlash against Berkman feels suspicious.

Was the team really planning on having a Pride Night before that, or was it an attempt to smooth things over and reassure LGBTQ+ groups that they were still welcome at games?

Was the team trying to take a stand for LGBTQ+ visibility, or were they trying to do damage control?

If the baseball team trully was an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, why had they not publically demonstrated this support in previous seasons?

The team had the choice and option to have any number of Christian Cardinals players and staff speak on Christian Day, but instead decided Berkman was the best option.

They could have chosen another Christian speaker who was not staunchly against the LGBTQ+ community that the Cardinals claim to support.

The Cardinals could have had a Christian Day that didn’t involve a speaker who is anti-LGBTQ+.

Because, unlike what some people want us to think, being LGBTQ+ and being Christian are not inherently opposed to each other.

You can be a Christian and be part of the LGBTQ+ community, because your gender or sexual orientation doesn’t always determine your religious affiliation.

The Cardinals were not given an impossible task. If they were truly allies, the Cardinals would have found another Christian speaker to feature for their Christian day.

So, are the Cardinals truly LGBTQ+ allies?

While hosting Pride Night and giving a portion of each theme ticket sale to the PrideSTL Scholarship is a good thing to do, more needs to be done in order to be a proper ally.

The Cardinals can’t just pick and choose when they are going to support the LGBTQ+ community, or choose to host an event only when they are receiving backlash because of other speakers.

If the Cardinals are only hosting Pride Night because of backlash from a previous speaker, then it isn’t the act of a group who wants to truly help the LGBTQ+ community and break down homophobia and transphobia.

The Cardinals are trying to brand themselves as allies, but as long as the team continues to allow speakers who are openly anti-LGBT and refer to transgender women as “troubled men,” the Cardinals aren’t allies; they’re trying

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Cardinals Pride: Too little, too late?