Despite the intense backlash, longtime Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expressed his support for the organization’s recent Pride Night.
In recent weeks, the franchise has faced criticism for its decision to honor the Los Angeles chapter of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at Dodger Stadium.
«To me, this is an existential question for me,» Roberts said Friday while wearing a Pride-themed Dodgers cap.
«It’s a big general question in the sense that my parents raised me to love everyone. To respect everyone.»
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Roberts added that even when people disagree, they should still «be able to coexist.»
«Treat people the way you want to be treated. We’re not always going to agree with everyone’s decisions in life,» Roberts said. «This is how the world works. And that’s okay. I think we should still be able to coexist.»
«For me, it’s always about loving everyone. And as the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, a baseball team, I welcome, we welcome, anyone who walks through these doors to support our baseball club.»
THOUSANDS OF SISTERS OF PERPETUAL INDULGENCE PROTEST OUTSIDE DODGER STADIUM HOURS BEFORE THE START OF PRIDE NIGHT
Hours before the Gay Pride Night festivities began on Friday, protesters in opposition to the LGBTQ+ satirical group that received the Community Hero Award gathered in a parking lot outside Dodger Stadium. Organizers called the gathering a «prayer procession.»
The Dodgers played the San Francisco Giants on Friday night. Gabe Kapler, the Giants’ manager, said he was «very proud to wear the colors of pride tonight. I know a lot of our players feel the same way.»
Kapler also spoke about the protesters, saying, «I believe in and support any peaceful protest.»
The Dodgers became involved in a back-and-forth with The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. After receiving backlash, the team rescinded his invitation to the group, only to reinvite him several days later.
«People will have different opinions, but our culture is now in a place where we’re not co-existing, and that’s what’s sad and unfortunate,» Roberts said. «I love everybody. That’s where I’m at. Anyone who wants to come here and support us and the Dodgers, I’m all for it. We’re all for it. That’s how I was raised.»
The Dodgers held a players-only meeting on May 29, the same day the team’s star pitcher Clayton Kershaw publicly shared that he disagreed with the franchise’s decision to host The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
«This has nothing to do with the LGBTQ community or Pride or anything like that,» he told the Los Angeles Times. «This is just a group making fun of a religion. I don’t agree with that.»
Roberts said he welcomes different «thoughts and beliefs» from his players.
«Everyone is an individual and they have their thoughts and beliefs,» Roberts said. «I welcome that. I think it’s great. But I haven’t really had conversations. I think between them, between them, they have. And I think it’s important that everyone is educated and has conversations. That’s always important, and I support that.»
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Earlier this week, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he wants to leave decisions about hosting a Pride Night up to each franchise.
«We’ve told teams, in terms of actual uniforms, caps, bases, that we don’t think putting logos on them is a good idea just out of the desire to protect players,» Manfred said, «not to put them in a position to do something that might make them uncomfortable because of their personal views.»