The Texas Rangers are in hot water following a social media blunder. Their tweet for #SpiritDay, an international campaign to bring awareness to the bullying of LGBTQ+ youth that, was lacking in more ways than one. The MLB has been working with this campaign for several years now, leaving many fans and even staff members are disappointed by the Rangers team. Read this perspective from Richie Whitt of Whitt’s End, a featured column on Sports Illustrated, below.
From Sports Illustrated:
*Texas Rangers lost 100 games this season. Make it 101. Before they can gear up for the Hot Stove, they’ve jumped into hot water. The organization earned its most embarrassing L of 2021 Thursday when it blatantly went off-script from Major League Baseball’s social media participation in #SpiritDay, an international campaign to bring awareness and hopefully stop bullying of teens in the LGBTQ+ community.
Oh, the Rangers sent out a tweet alright. But – unlike other teams – they conveniently left out the #LGBTQ+ hashtag. Also missing: The link to the GLAAD organization’s “Spirt Day” website.
I’d like to give them the benefit of the doubt but, nope, this strategic move merely continues a nauseating, disgusting pattern impossible to ignore: The Rangers refuse to acknowledge the LGBTQ community, much less lift a social media finger to help it.
More proof: There is only one MLB team yet to host a “Pride Night”. Venture a guess? Yep, same team that hosts theme nights for colleges, faith, police, military and even dogs. The same franchise that boasts #straightupTX as its official hashtag (insert sarcasm).
But why should this matter? Allow me.
“Spirit Day” was created in 2010 after an alarming uptick of teen suicides among LGBTQs. Research suggests bullying of non-traditional teens leads to depression and a suicide rate that is three times higher than heterosexuals. But instead of a small act that could make a big impact, the Rangers are going out of their way – publicly – to distance from their MLB partners and ignore LGBTQ bullying.
This isn’t even lip service. It’s an undeniable looking the other way.
I know a couple Rangers employees who, privately, are humiliated by their team’s actionable indifference. And I can only imagine how this front-office roundtable decision landed: “Yeah, but if we include ‘#LGBTQ+’ we’ll offend the core of our fan base.”
They’re not wrong. But they’ve never been more wrong.