Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is expected to launch his 2024 presidential campaign next week in Iowa, is pressing Major League Baseball (MLB) commissioner Rob Manfred to intervene and block the Los Angeles Dodgers from hosting a radical anti-Catholic organization later this month at “Pride Night.”
In a letter to Manfred on Friday, Pence wrote that baseball for over a century has united Americans but that in recent years leftist politicization of the sport has hurt the game’s image and reputation.
“For almost two hundred years, Americans have united around the great game of baseball,” Pence wrote in a letter on Friday to Manfred.
And for a very long time that was true. Since 1909, congressional Democrats and Republicans could put aside their bitter divisions and compete together in the friendliest of rivalries. During the 2001 World Series, President George W. Bush rekindled the American spirit by throwing out the first pitch of game three in Yankee Stadium, just a month after one of our country’s darkest days. But baseball’s long track record has come into question in recent years. In 2021, when my friend and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a law to protect election integrity in his state, you chose to relocate the All-Star Game from Atlanta, citing concerns about ‘voter suppression’ (a claim put to shame by the actual impact of the law, which produced historic voter turnout, including among African Americans). In doing so, you not only undermined the game’s apolitical reputation, but you robbed the legacy of one of baseball’s all-time greats, Hank Aaron. Atlanta hosted its first All-Star Game almost 50 years beforehand, a game in which ‘Hammerin’ Hank’ played and helped bring about an incredible victory. The 2021 game would have been a beautiful opportunity to honor the Atlanta Braves legend, who had died just months before.
Fast forward to 2023, and now the Los Angeles Dodgers are about to host a group called the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence”—a radical anti-Catholic group of drag queens—at “Pride Night” later this month. Pence is asking Manfred to intervene and stop the Dodgers from hosting the organization.
“Now in 2023, Major League Baseball is standing by as our national pastime is desecrated by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, an anti-Catholic hate group with a history of religious bigotry,” Pence wrote.
He explained further:
For reasons completely beyond understanding, the Los Angeles Dodgers decided to give an award to the ‘Sisters,’ giving a public platform and spotlight for their indecency that risks sexualizing young children. For a moment, it looked like the Dodgers might reverse course, but sanity has not prevailed in Los Angeles. As Bishop Robert Barron has made clear, this kind of religious intolerance and public indecency would never be celebrated if it were targeted against another religious group like Jews or Muslims.
As a “longtime baseball fan and concerned fellow citizen,” Pence wrote to Manfred that it is not too late for MLB to stop this from happening.
Baseball once stood for American greatness, but when the MLB openly invites attacks on Christian faith, sexualizes children with graphic public displays, and undermines the family-friendly environment that baseball has long stood for, it is clear that those days are fading fast. While baseball has had a bad streak over the past few years, that does not mean the book is closed on the MLB. ‘Pride Night,’ when the Dodgers will recognize the ‘Sisters,’ is not until June 16. It is still not too late to reverse course and recover the reputation of American baseball. Baseball has long been cherished as America’s pastime, transcending political, social, and cultural boundaries. I firmly believe that baseball still has the power to bring people together and foster a sense of American unity centered around our civic virtues. If you act quickly, I am hopeful that the league can once again become a source of inspiration for millions of fans across these United States.
It remains to be seen if MLB will take any action on this or not.