play ball

Right-wing host bottoms out whining that there’s “nothing gay” about baseball, but he’s clearly mistaken

Seattle Mariners player getting doused with water.
Photo credit: Seattle Mariners/Twitter

The Los Angeles Dodgers reversed course this week and re-invited the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to their Pride Night next month.

And at least one right-wing cable news host is having a hissy fit over it.

Newsmax host Greg Kelly went on a rant during a recent episode of his show, bemoaning the Dodgers’ about-face, and whining about the supposed sexualization of baseball.

“There’s nothing less sexually oriented than baseball,” he said. “I used to like baseball. It’s totally boring. It takes way too long. I know they’ve changed the rules. It still stinks. Players get paid way too much. If you like it fine. I want nothing to do with it even more, and even less since they have L-G-B-T-Q night at Dodger Stadium and ballparks all over the place. The rainbow flag, bring out the rainbow flag. There’s nothing gay about baseball. There’s nothing that’s straight about baseball. There’s plenty that’s boring about baseball, OK?!”

Yeesh. Can somebody fetch this guy a Bud Light and calm him down? (Oh, that’s right: conservatives are boycotting the iconic beer brand, too, due to its partnership with transgender TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney.)

Republicans claim to love America; and yet, they’re railing against baseball and beer. Makes sense.

The Dodgers are set to present the LA Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with the team’s Community Hero Award at their annual Pride Night on June 16. Formed in San Francisco four decades ago, the group performs community outreach and raises thousands of dollars for different causes. Most notably, they were at the forefront of the fight against HIV/AIDS, caring for patients and even performing religious services when the Catholic Church refused.

The Sisters often use humor and religious imagery to call out anti-gay discrimination, sparking ire from the Catholic League and Senator Marco Rubio…who represents Florida.

Faced with right-wing outrage, the Dodgers disinvited the Sisters; but unsurprisingly, their capitulation didn’t please anybody. Rubio used their reversal as an opportunity to score political points, blasting the state of California. “For once, common sense prevailed in California,” he tweeted.

The Sisters, meanwhile, issued a statement expressing their disappointment with the turn of events. Multiple other LGBTQ organizations also backed out in protest.

But now, the Sisters are back in the fold. The Dodgers have a strong history of supporting LGBTQ+ inclusion, as their Pride Night is typically one of the largest in sports. The team employs out LGBTQ+ people at the highest levels of the organization: Billie Jean King and her wife Ilana Kloss are minority owners, and Erik Braverman is a senior vice president of marketing.

Glenn Burke, the first MLB player to come out as gay, played for the Dodgers as well. They honored him at last year’s Pride festivities.

But back to Kelly, and his claim that baseball isn’t gay. Clearly, he’s out of the loop. This season alone, we’ve seen the Seattle Mariners run a pretty gay Twitter account, and San Francisco Giants players unapologetically blow each other kisses after base hits.

Let’s face it: baseball players wear jockstraps, slap each other on the butt and perform all sorts of choreographed celebrations.

Yeah, definitely not gay…

In recent years, we’ve also seen multiple players break away from heteronormative on-field behavior. Last season, for example, St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach Turner Ward planted a kiss on outfielder Lars Nootbar’s cheek to commemorate his 25th birthday. 

The previous year, outfielder Joc Pederson sported a pearl necklace during the Atlanta Braves’ World Series run.

Boston Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas, meanwhile, paints his fingernails and toenails.

Nine years ago, MLB hired gay former ballplayer Billy Bean as its Ambassador for Inclusion; and since then, nearly every team has held some sort of Pride Night. During that time frame, we’ve also seen a couple of active minor league players, outfielder David Denson and pitcher Solomon Bates, publicly came out as gay.

Last winter, veteran pitcher TJ House publicly came out as gay, too.

Baseball is known as America’s Pastime, and gay people are part of America. It only makes sense for them to be part of America’s game, too.

Sorry about that, Newsmax host guy. Scroll down for more reaction to Kelly’s ridiculous rant…