The San Francisco Giants scored big over the weekend when they debuted the first-ever Major League Baseball Pride-themed uniforms and caps worn by players during an official game. In the past, Pride events at MLB games were often limited to an LGBTQ+ celebrity throwing out the traditional first pitch or perhaps giving a speech, but never before have players fully participated in the events. That changed Saturday night as the Giants took the field with a rainbow-hued logo on their cap and jersey sleeves. And according to a report in the Washington Post, the event had the full support of the team.
"I’m very proud of our group for publicly supporting the LGBTQ+ community," Giants Manager Gabe Kapler was quoted by the Post before the first pitch. "I think it’s an important step, and I think we’re all standing behind the community."
This year’s celebrations were tempered by last year’s Black Lives Matter protests as well as the spreading pandemic. Shauna Daum, senior vice president of public affairs and community relations for the Giants, said the death of George Floyd opened new, previously uncomfortable, conversations with their employees about how best the team could help deal with these types of community issues.
"I think having some of these more uncomfortable, difficult conversations that we’re all having because of what’s happened in the last year allowed us to really get honest input and increase the comfort of some of our employees to come forward and tell us: 'Okay, you’re going to do this? This is how we think it should be done,'" Daum explained.
The hats worn by the Giants this past Saturday included 11 colors to represent BIPOC and trans members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Altering a uniform worn during official play requires approval of not just the league, but also the players. In the past, some players objected, but not this year. Evan Longoria, who plays third base for the Giants, took his allyship one step further by sporting an extra rainbow sweatband on his forearm. Kevin Gausman, the Giant’s starting pitcher, said he felt good about the Pride night event and special uniforms.
"Obviously this is a city that’s really inclusive," Gausman said. "It was fun to be a part of. I’ve never worn a hat like that before, so that was cool."
The Giants won the game by a score of 4-3, and now hold first place in the National League West.