From: Bear World
The Pride Night festivities began with a “Pride in the Plaza” celebration in Met’s Plaza outside the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, featuring a performance by the award-winning non-profit “Broadway Sings for Pride,” a Broadway meets Baseball show. Free rainbow and American flags were handed out to all fans in the plaza.
A special pre-game ceremony took place during the National Anthem as 800 Pride Night ticket purchasers lined up in the outfield in different color Pride Night shirts to form the largest human rainbow flag, the iconic symbol of unity and pride for the LGBT community. The NYPD Ceremonial Unit Color Guard was on the field with representatives from the Nassau County Police Department’s LGBTQ Society.
Thousands of fans wore commemorative Pride Night shirts with a portion of each ticket sale going to support the LGBT Network’s anti-bullying programs in Long Island and New York City schools. The New York tristate area is home to an estimated 2 million LGBT residents and families who have long felt left out and not safe in major league ballparks and arenas.
David Kilmnick, LGBT Network CEO, said “Bullying is still a major-league problem for LGBT youth. Over 82 percent report being verbally and physically harassed in the past year. It’s not only the school hallways where our young people report feeling unsafe, but also on the ball field. We are grateful and thankful to Major League Baseball for taking the lead in professional sports including the LGBT community in its diversity priorities and initiatives. As a life-long Mets fan, I am proud that the New York Mets have taken the lead in promoting inclusivity in the ballpark and are the champions of the New York sports world in making sure that everyone is welcomed and celebrated at Citi Field.”
In a statement, Mets Executive Vice President/Chief Revenue Officer Lou DePaoli said, “New York is the most diverse and inclusive city in the world, and the Mets welcome all fans throughout the season. We are particularly proud to welcome the LGBT community on Pride Night at Citi Field.”
Billy Bean VP, Social Responsibility & Inclusion, MLB’s Office of the Commissioner, said, “Congratulations to the New York Mets and the LGBT Network of Long Island/Queens for working together to create this special event at Citi Field. Mets fans encompass every demographic that make up the great city of New York. It makes me very proud to see their organization display such a powerful example of inclusion, and a message of acceptance for anyone who loves the game of baseball.”