The minor league baseball team Ogden Raptors ended a “drag queen” tradition after a complaint shortly after the Orlando massacre.
Twice a night, after the third and sixth innings, volunteers calling themselves the “Drag Queens” maneuvered field drags across the Lindquist Field dirt to smooth it as Raptors games progress. The four men wore colorful wigs and floral dresses over their regular clothes, and Aerosmith’s 1987 hit “Dude Look’s Like a Lady” played in the background.
A fan by the name of Michael emailed the Pioneer League offices, complaining the tradition was insensitive following the Orlando shooting at an LGBT nightclub which killed 49 people.
“How dare you pick on a community to mock them like that,” Michael wrote, according to Fox 13 News. “Hasn’t the gay community gone through enough this past week or so to be ridiculed like this,” he wrote. “It may be funny to some but I take a huge offense to it. Your organization disappoints me.”
The Raptors ended the tradition immediately.
“In light of recent events that have taken place in our beloved country, we will no longer be presenting that promotion. It has been retired for good,” the team responded in a statement.
Pioneer Baseball League President Jeff McCurdy responded to Michael’s email, saying, “Thank you for stepping forward and bringing this to light. We are sorry that we did not get it together in time to spare you the opening night disappointment. The “drag queen” event is discontinued with regret for any discomfort and offense that it engendered. You questioned whether real “drag queens” would be admitted to the ball park. I would certainly hope so. If you have any questions of where Minor League Baseball stands with regard to the rights of our LGBT communities, please remember that Helena Brewer David Denson, in August of last season, became the first Minor or Major Leaguer to come out publicly as gay while still active in baseball. David was honored with a special citation from Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner at the Winter Meetings in December. President O’Conner remarked, ‘I invited David here today for the courage, strength, and trailblazing spirit he showed by going public with his sexual orientation.’ Thank you again for your courage in bringing this issue to our attention. We do hope that you can enjoy PBL baseball and the role it plays in our communities.”