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Major League Baseball Pride Nights have become a contentious battleground in recent years. Last year, five Tampa Bay Rays players opted out of wearing pride logos on their jerseys. And this summer’s Los Angeles Dodgers Pride Night has been the subject of much debate, with the team inviting, then uninviting, then reinviting the LGBTQ+ activist and performance organization Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence – and relaunching its Christian Faith and Family Day soon after the invitation – drawing criticism at all stages. This week, a number of players, including some on the Dodgers and around the league, issued statements condemning the team for inviting the group.
But where do Americans and MLB fans in particular generally stand on MLB team Pride Nights? CivicScience gauged sentiment among all U.S. adults, and 46% claim Pride Nights make them ‘less likely’ to attend MLB games. Conversely, a majority of adults either claim Pride Nights make them ‘more likely’ or ‘just as likely’ to attend MLB games (54%, with 12% claiming they’re ‘more likely’).
As could be expected, the subject is highly polarized across political lines. Registered Republicans are nearly three times as likely (76%) as registered Democrats (26%) to say they’re ‘less likely’ to attend professional baseball games due to Pride Nights. A majority of Democrats (74%) and Independents (53%) report being either ‘more likely’ or ‘just as likely’ to attend.
But there’s also a correlation between how closely a person follows MLB and how likely they are to attend professional games in light of Pride Nights. Those who follow MLB ‘very closely’ vastly over-index for saying Pride Nights make them ‘more likely’ to attend games – tripling adults who follow MLB ‘not at all.’ The more casual fans (those who follow ‘somewhat closely’) also reported a lower percentage than the Gen Pop for being ‘less likely’ to attend games (44%).
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