The Pawtucket Red Sox are taking some heat on social media after inviting former White House press secretary Sean Spicer to toss the first pitch Friday night, the very evening the Rhode Island minor league team celebrated “Pride Night at the Ballpark.”
Longreads sports columnist Britni de la Cretaz tweeted to her 13.5K followers: “What an insult to all their queer fans.” That’s in reference to the Trump administration’s record in relation to the LGBTQ community, as reported by the Washington Blade, Buzzfeed and The New York Times.
— Britni de la Cretaz (@britnidlc) July 19, 2019
Others called it “tone-deaf,” “a garbage move,” and asked why someone from the LGBTQ community wasn’t chosen for the honor. Another criticized the Paw Sox for choosing to have a veteran join Spicer.
They paired it with a veterans thing so to make it harder to criticize, too, it’s gross
— Marc Normandin (@Marc_Normandin) July 19, 2019
Before the game, Spicer presented Lopes, a Rhode Islander wounded during his service with the U.S. Marines in Iraq in 2005, with an all-terrain wheelchair from The Independence Fund. Spicer is member of the board of directors of the charity, which has donated more than 2,300 of these types of wheelchairs.
Thanks @PawSox for helping Veteran Carlos Lopes at tonight’s game.
— The Independence Fund (@IndyFund) July 20, 2019
Spicer made no mention of Pride Night in his own social media post.
Amazing night at McCoy Stadium. Presented this tracked wheel chair to a Marine Corps veteran from Rhode Island on behalf of the @IndyFund at the @pawsox game and then joined him to throw out the first pitch.… https://t.co/3HoiXN88z2
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) July 19, 2019
The Paw Sox are the Triple A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and currently in last place in the International League North. On Friday they played the Charlotte Knights, a minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, and won, 4-3.
Outsports reached out to the Paw Sox for comment but have not received a response as of press time.