Local Bobby Patton’s Dodgers Move Forward With Drag Show

Image by Pat Mazzera, SOPA Images / Sipa USA

The Los Angeles Dodgers have announced the return of a ‘Christian Faith and Family Day’ after the organization made headlines last week for rescinding, then re-extending, an invitation to a controversial LGBTQ+ group for the team’s 10th annual Pride Night.

The Dodgers disinvited the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence — a charity group that claims to highlight sexual bias through drag, satire, and religious symbolism — after facing significant backlash from fans and Catholic organizations.

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, wrote of the drag group, “The Catholic League has been the leading critic of this bigoted organization for many decades … These homosexual bigots are known for simulating sodomy while dressed as nuns. Just last month, they held an event mocking our Blessed Mother and Jesus on Easter Sunday.”

Such criticism spurred the Dodgers to rescind the invitation.

“We are now aware that our inclusion of one group in particular — the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence — in this year’s pride night has been the source of some controversy. Given the strong feelings of people who have been offended by the Sisters’ inclusion in our evening, and in an effort not to distract from the great benefits that we have seen over the years of Pride Night, we are deciding to remove them from this year’s group of honorees,” the team wrote in a statement later deleted from Twitter.

The decision to uninvite the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence sparked further blowback as other LGBTQ+ organizations began withdrawing from the event in protest, prompting the Dodgers to reinvite the group to the event.

“After much thought and feedback from our diverse communities, honest conversations within the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and generous discussions with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the Los Angeles Dodgers would like to offer our sincerest apologies to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and their friends and families,” the team wrote.

“We have asked the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to take their place on the field at our 10th annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night on June 16. … In the weeks ahead, we will continue to work with our LGBTQ+ partners to better educate ourselves, find ways to strengthen the ties that bind and use our platform to support all of our fans who make up the diversity of the Dodgers family,” the team concluded.

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have accepted the club’s apology and will receive a “Community Hero Award” at the event.

A few days after reinviting the group, the Dodgers announced they would be relaunching the franchise’s Christian Faith and Family Day.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw promoted the event on Twitter, tweeting, “Excited to announce the relaunch of Christian Faith and Family Day at Dodger Stadium on July 30th. More details to come — but we are grateful for the opportunity to talk about Jesus and determined to make it bigger and better than it was before COVID. Hope to see you on July 30th!”

Still, some Catholic organizations remain staunchly opposed to the team reinviting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, seeing their inclusion as “honoring Catholic hate groups.”

Just a day after the Sisters were reinvited, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, quoted a tweet from CatholicVote urging Catholics to get involved, adding, “Please speak against this evil being promoted at Dodger Stadium.”

Online personality Mike Cernovich tweeted, “I don’t see how you can be Catholic and ever support the Dodgers after this.”

Rumblings of a Dodgers boycott are also percolating online, with CatholicVote pledging to spend $1 million to launch a campaign encouraging Catholics to boycott the team.

The prevalence of drag in popular culture has also spurred a pushback from feminists who argue that such depictions of women are demeaning and degrade the status of women in society.

“Drag at its core is misogynistic; it is men portraying women as sexually objectified caricatures. Drag performers frequently reduce women to hyper sexualised, big breasted, big haired bimbos,” argued one essayist for The Critic.

“In what other circumstance is it acceptable to woop and clap when a member of the privileged group uses ridicule against an oppressed group? To rub salt in the wounds, these men build their careers off of the tools of female oppression — gender stereotypes and sexual objectification — and re-entrench them in performances where they are portrayed as just a laugh and a lark,” the feminist argument went on.

The Dodgers, whose ownership group includes Fort Worth’s Bobby Patton Jr., have declined to comment any further.

Pride Night at Dodger Stadium is scheduled for June 16, coinciding with a game against the San Francisco Giants.

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